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State officials walk back report of 11-year-old Georgia boy’s coronavirus death


The Georgia Department of Public Health has walked back earlier reports that an 11-year-old boy in metro-Atlanta died from the novel coronavirus.

State officials announced the child’s death Thursday afternoon, noting that he was the youngest Georgian to die from the highly contagious disease. Now, department officials say there’s no evidence to support that.

“The age reported was incorrect,” DPH told McClatchy News via email. “After reviewing medical records, there is no 11-year-old boy who died of COVID-19 in Georgia that we are aware of.”

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The facility that reported the child’s passing made the error, the department added.

By Friday afternoon, data published by DPH showed more than 5,800 confirmed cases of the virus across the Peach State with 184 reported deaths. Fulton County has been the hardest hit with nearly 900 cases, followed by Dougherty and Dekalb counties.

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On Thursday, Gov. Brian Kemp signed a state-wide shelter-in-place order in an effort to slow the spread of the disease that has infected more than a million people worldwide. The order will take effect Friday at 6 p.m. and requires Georgians to stay home unless they’re “participating in essential services, performing necessary travel or are a part of the workforce for critical infrastructure,” according to Atlanta station WSB-TV.

Before Wednesday, the governor said he was unaware that asymptomatic individuals could still spread the virus, calling it a “game-changer” in his decision to issue a shelter-in-place order, McClatchy News reported.

“Finding out that this virus is now transmitting before people see signs, so what we’ve been telling people from directives from the CDC for weeks now that if you start feeling bad, stay home -- those individuals could have been infecting people before they even felt bad,” he said at a Wednesday press conference.

Kemp later clarified he was referring to updated CDC guidelines indicating asymptomatic spread was far worse than previously stated.

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