Judge dies from coronavirus

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A Georgia probate judge succumbed to complications from COVID-19.

Dougherty County probation judge Nancy Stephenson died Wednesday night, according to an article on the Facebook page of the Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia. The message revealed that the Albany, Georgia woman died after being tested positive for the virus.

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“Our council sends our deepest condolences to the family of our friend and colleague, Judge Nancy Smith Stephenson from Dougherty County. Recently, judge Stephenson had tested positive for COVID-19 and yesterday succumbed to complications because of it, “said the message.

Stephenson, from Tifton, Georgia, has been a probate judge in Dougherty County for 27 years. She graduated from the University of Georgia Law School in 1981.
She is survived by her husband, State Court judge John Stephenson, and her two adult sons, Mark and Will. Stephenson attended Albany’s first United Methodist church, according to a biography of John Stephenson on the Dougherty County website.

“May her memory be a blessing for all those who have had the privilege of knowing it,” reads the council’s Facebook post.

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More than 150 people died of the virus in Georgia on Thursday and more than 4,700 people were diagnosed. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced Wednesday that Thursday would be the start of a statewide on-site shelter to contain the spread of the disease, which has had a significant impact in areas like the Dougherty County.

The Department of Public Health said Dougherty County, the center of the largest epidemic cluster in Georgia, had 29 deaths on Thursday, the highest in the state. Coroner Michael Fowler, however, said on Wednesday that the death toll is now 37 in Dougherty County and 23 more in surrounding communities.

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