Dougherty County Health Department makes coronavirus testing available in multiple counties

Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler's office was investigating additional deaths as potential COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

ALBANY — Dougherty County’s coronavirus death toll reached 37 on Thursday, including Dougherty County Probate Court Judge Nancy Stephenson.

The other death that occurred in the last 24 hours was an elderly resident of the PruittHealth-Palymra nursing home, Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler said. Seven residents at that facility have died due to COVID-19 or complications related to the coronavirus.

“One died in the hospital, one in the nursing home,” Fowler said during a Thursday telephone interview.

The majority of the region’s victims have been elderly, with the oldest in Dougherty County a 92-year-old female, but the disease also has struck down three women in their 40s and a 53-year-old woman in the county, according to statistics posted online by the Georgia Department of Public Health. The youngest victim was a 34-year-old male.

The agency listed only 29 deaths for Dougherty County, and its numbers have lagged behind those provided by the coroner’s office.

On Thursday, Dougherty County’s deaths were the highest in the state, ahead of 22 in Fulton County and 17 in Cobb County.

Public Health reported a total of 163 deaths in the state, including seven in Lee County, three Sumter County residents, two from Terrell County and one each from Baker, Colquitt, Early, Mitchell and Worth counties. The death rate was 3.05% of patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus, the state reported.

Fowler said that he expects more deaths will follow in coming days.

“I believe it’s going to get worse,” he said.

On Thursday, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital reported that 751 people have tested positive at its facilities in Albany and other locations, and that 1,223 negative test results have been returned. An additional 1,077 tests are pending.

The state reported 507 cases for Dougherty County on Thursday, second only to Fulton County’s 712.

Phoebe, whose intensive care units have been operating at full capacity with COVID-19 patients for more than two weeks and transferred other patients to other hospitals in the state, reported 32 deaths of patients who tested positive for the coronavirus in Albany and three at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.

As of Thursday, 55 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Albany and 15 in Americus. An additional 79 patients who were awaiting test results were hospitalized in Albany and 15 at Phoebe Sumter.

A total of 115 Phoebe patients who tested positive have recovered.

Support Local Journalism

Now, more than ever, the world needs trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by subscribing or making a contribution today.

Stay Informed

(1) comment


While the stats for the deaths are correct, you did not include all of the data available about those women in their 40s and 50s nor the male in his early 30s. ALL had underlying conditions that made them much more vulnerable to serious complications. The media has to be careful about reporting these cases with all known facts instead of just high level headlines, since it can scare people into a panic reaction. According to the DOH data, only 1 person under 40 has passed from this virus in this county. Only 3 under the age of 60. Of those who have died, nearly 80% had an underlying condition. This whole pandemic is sad and scary, but just reporting deaths without the rest of the facts is making Dougherty county look like we have something wrong with us, like we are flagrantly ignoring the guidelines.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.