Brian Kemp

Gov. Brian Kemp visits the state Capitol to deliver his socially distanced State of the State address Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Atlanta.

Three straight days of more than 100 deaths from COVID-19 have pushed the death toll from the pandemic to nearly 11,000 in Georgia.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were the three deadliest days of the 10-month outbreak in the state. (Friday numbers were not available at press time.) The worst was Tuesday, when the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 144 deaths in the previous day.

The seven-day average of deaths was just under 89 per day.

Walton County reported three new deaths on Thursday, bringing the toll to 96.

Statewide, 10,721 people have died from COVID-19. There have been more than 660,700 confirmed cases of the illness since the pandemic first reached Georgia in March.

In his State of the State address Thursday, Gov. Brian Kemp spent much of his annual speech to the General Assembly discussing the illness, which has monopolized the second year of his administration.

Kemp spent much of Thursday’s address praising the heroism and self-sacrifice of health care workers in hospitals and nursing homes across Georgia who stepped up to fight COVID-19.

The governor defended his “measured reopening” of the state’s economy to reduce the pandemic’s impact on businesses and their employees. He said he took a lot of criticism for that decision but heeded the pleas of business owners and essential workers struggling to make ends meet.

“These hardworking Georgians were struggling, not because their business was a failure or because their products or services were no longer needed. No, they faced devastation because of a virus, through no fault of their own,” Kemp said. “While some disagreed with me, I know our decision … to give these people a fighting chance — a glimmer of hope — meant everything to them.”

Dave Williams and Beau Evans of the Capitol Beat News Service contributed reporting from Atlanta.


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