Georgia becomes 10th state to top 5,000 virus deaths

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia on Saturday became the 10th state in the nation to report that it has surpassed 5,000 deaths caused by COVID-19.

The Georgia Department of Public Health said there have been at least 5,092 deaths in the state caused by the coronavirus and more than 252,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Data kept by The Associated Press shows the coronavirus has been spreading in Georgia faster per-capita than any other state over the past two weeks, although infection numbers have been declining in the state since their peak last month.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who was among the first governors to ease earlier restrictions this spring, highlighted the downward trends this past week. He has used social media to remind residents to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and follow guidance from the health department.

More than 176,000 people have died of coronavirus in the U.S., the most of any other country, according to Johns Hopkins University. Georgia, the eighth-most populous state, ranks 10th in overall coronavirus deaths.

Still, state health officials said heart disease and cancer kill more people in Georgia each year than any other condition, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Over the approximately six months since the virus was first reported in Georgia, COVID-19 deaths would rank third, the newspaper reported.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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