ATLANTA, GA – On Thursday, Governor Kemp addressed Georgians regarding the COVID-19 pandemic during a briefing that also included the Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency Director Homer Bryson, Georgia National Guard Adjutant General Tom Carden, and Augusta University President Dr. Brooks Keel.
Governor Kemp opened his speech by briefly addressing the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, saying, “it is absolutely horrific and Georgian’s deserve answers.”
Turning attention to the pandemic, Kemp said, “I’m encouraged by our progress in this war.” He also highlighted Georgia’s test site progress, saying, “we have doubled our daily testing capacity.”
One significant update from the Governor was that the Department of Public Health and district offices are now encouraging all Georgians, even if they are not experiencing symptoms, to schedule an appointment with their health care provider, local health department or to get a screening through the AU Health Express Care app.
An official partnership was announced with Peach Bowl, Inc., the company that produces the Chick-Fil-A sponsored football game in Atlanta, to help provide funding for statewide COVID-19 screenings. (Official release HERE)
The Governor was mostly positive with his messages on the pandemic, but did say, “While we’ve made progress, we need to continue to help protect our most vulnerable citizens.” On the issues facing nursing and retirement homes in the state, he said, “The department of community Health has begun planning for in-person inspections of long term care facilities, to assist with infection control, monitoring and compliance with federal and state regulations.”
When asked about some models projecting up to 10,000 Georgian deaths by the end of the summer, the Governor said, “if we see the numbers turn a different direction than we’d like to see, then we’ll take further action.” He then encouraged citizens to wear masks, protect themselves and avoid large gatherings to help drive the coronavirus numbers down.
See the full briefing in the embedded video of the briefing below. (If you have trouble viewing the video, visit HERE)