The Georgia Department of Public Health reported two more deaths among COVID-19 patients in Glynn County on Wednesday, bringing the total to eight.
One was a 68-year-old black woman, the other a white man aged 90-plus. The state health department did not give an exact age.
They were preceded by a 90-year-old white man, a 76-year-old black man, a 75-year-old white woman, an 83-year-old white woman, a 74-year-old black man and an 84-year-old white woman.
All but one, the 74-year-old, had underlying conditions. Health department personnel have previously declined to give information on underlying conditions, citing HIPAA privacy protections.
Their identities were not made public.
Deaths are still relatively low, but there could be more to come following the recent surges in newly-reported cases.
“Noticeable increases in hospitalizations typically lag behind the increases in reported cases by several weeks,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Coastal Health District director. “People who have bad clinical courses and ultimately die often have protracted hospital stays before succumbing.”
Those two factors would contribute to a delay in reported deaths, he said, but he also believes health care workers, in general, have learned to provide better care for COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition to the recent deaths, the health department reported another 91 cases among county residents Wednesday for a total of 1,322 cases since the outbreak started.
Recent rapid increases in cases have led some health officials to name Glynn County an area of concern and potential COVID-19 hotspot.
The health department reported 350 cases in the last week alone, 851 in the last two weeks.
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital was caring for 40 COVID-19 positive inpatients — 13 more than the day before and a new peak for the healthcare facility — while the Camden campus held three.
Camden County reported another 21 cases since Tuesday for a total of 233, while McIntosh reported three new cases and 71 total.
Camden has also reported notable increases in the number of cases lately, rising by 58.5 percent in the last week and 119.8 percent in the last two weeks.
The Glynn County Health Department offers free testing five days a week by appointment.
Call 912-230-9744 to make an appointment or go to covid19.dph.ga.gov to schedule one online. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Residents are advised to wear masks in public places, wash their hands regularly, use hand sanitizer if necessary, cover coughs and sneezes and avoid crowded spaces when possible.