The first known death in Georgia from the COVID-19 coronavirus disease has been confirmed by state officials.

The patient who died was a 67-year-old man who was hospitalized at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, according to Gov. Brian Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health. He had been hospitalized since March 7 and had underlying medical conditions.

An illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that depicts a coronavirus. (Special)

“Marty, the girls, and I are praying for the family and loved ones of this individual during this incredibly difficult time,” said Kemp in a press release. “I know the medical professionals on site did everything that they could, and I greatly appreciate their efforts. As our state continues to address this pandemic, I urge Georgians to remain calm and support their neighbors and communities. We are in this fight together.”

The DPH announced March 11 that there were 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state and another 19 “presumptive positive” cases awaiting confirmation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised that older people and those with severe chronic medical conditions to avoid crowds and, in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in the community, to stay home as much as possible.

For the latest information about the new coronavirus, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.