As Governor Brian Kemp eases COVID-19 restrictions, Milledgeville and Baldwin Co. prepare for spike in new infections, hospitalizations

MILLEDGEVILLE– As of Friday, June 19th, Baldwin County has 435 reported cases of the Coronavirus, and thus far 33 people have died. For the last few weeks, officials had determined that Milledgeville and Baldwin County is one of Georgia’s “hot spots” for COVID-19 due to the increase in the number of confirmed virus cases. However, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a new executive order on June 18th that further relaxes COVID-19 restrictions as cases continue to rise.

Things have gotten so bad in Baldwin County that some of the state’s COVID-19 beds originally set up in the World Congress Center in Atlanta are now being re-directed to Baldwin County. Eighty makeshift beds are moving to Milledgeville’s Youth Challenge Academy run by the Georgia National Guard.

Milledgeville’s mayor, Mary Parham-Copelan, spoke to WGXA-TV back in late April about the growing pandemic impacting Milledgeville and Baldwin County. She had said the following:

“That’s a great impact for the people to go back to work there in the healthcare area to actually be able to go back into the restaurants…it’s going to force that virus to me, to grow in more numbers as we continue to go back and forth, not knowing who all has it because everyone hasn’t been tested,” said Parham-Copelan. “So now we’re going to have a bigger group of people going back and forth into the community. It’s hard enough to keep gloves on, shake hands, people are going to start greeting each other again in a way that we’re discouraging most not to. So that’s going to cause more of an epidemic for us here.”

The State of Georgia listed six facilities in Baldwin County where COVID-19 cases have sickened either residents or staff members. Those facilities include:

Georgia War Veterans Home, where 51 residents and 28 staff members have contracted the virus since the pandemic began in mid-March. It has led to 11 deaths of veterans and two hospitalizations.

Bostick Nursing Home, where 63 residents and 14 staff members have contracted the virus. A total of five deaths have been reported, along with seven hospitalizations.

Central State Hospital’s Cook Building, where 21 residents and 73 staff members have contracted the virus. The virus also has claimed the lives of four people and hospitalized 10 since the pandemic began.

Baldwin State Prison, where 19 inmates and three staff members have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19. The virus also has hospitalized seven people and left two dead.

Chaplinwood Nursing Home, where 14 residents and six staff members have contracted the virus. The virus also has hospitalized two people and claimed the life of one person there.

Riverbend Correctional Facility, where a total of nine inmates and six staff members have contracted the virus since the pandemic began. Health officials reported no hospitalizations or deaths.

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