ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Health says Hancock County has the state's fourth-highest rate of cases for its population.

It’s also one of Central Georgia's smallest counties.

Data shows most of the cases are coming from nursing homes. Governor Brian Kemp addressed the issue at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

“Our focus continues to remain on the nursing homes,” Kemp said.

“This is just a tough situation as you look around the county,” he said. “I mean, half of our fatalities in Georgia, just about, are from these facilities.”

Kemp called on Dr. Kathleen Toomey to speak about the rise in numbers in Hancock County.

Toomey said a team of epidemiologists specifically trained in infection control were on their way to the county while the governor was holding the press conference.

“Meeting with the staff and also the administrators to ensure that we identify any issues that are going on, so that we can continue to mitigate this,” Toomey said.

RELATED: Confirmed case numbers growing faster in some counties than others

She went on to say that no matter how often the state sends a team to deep clean, the virus will continue to spread unless long-term care facilities maintain “good infection control practices.”

“I see that as an ongoing role for our public health teams who may do spot testing when they go in later, but also continue doing this reinforcing infection control in partnership with the Department of Community Health and so there is a good deal of partnership and data sharing about this and another facilities as well,” Toomey said.

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