Cherokee and Pickens counties each have seen their first deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, North Georgia Health District officials said Friday.

As of noon Friday, Cherokee County had recorded 46 of the 2,001 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the state, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Pickens County had four cases.

“The Cherokee County resident was a female in her 60s, and the Pickens County resident was a female in her 70s. Both were hospitalized at time of death with underlying health conditions,” Jennifer King, North Georgia Health District spokeswoman said. “These are the first deaths in the North Georgia Health District of residents who had been confirmed as being infected with COVID-19. The Health District is comprised of Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties.”

The health department does not reveal where coronavirus victims live, work, travel, or other specific health conditions they may have.

Cherokee County and its cities have put in place a number of policies meant to slow spread of the virus. Across the county, residents are being required or encouraged to stay in their homes as much as possible and staying at least six feet away from others if they do have to go out. In some instances businesses that require physical contact with customers, salons, tattoo shops, and others have been ordered closed for now. Schools have been closed with teachers and students interacting online and will continue to through April 24.

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