Georgia under public health state of emergency; National Guard activated

Published: Mar. 14, 2020 at 2:03 PM EDT
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

March 14, 2020

UPDATE: Governor Kemp issued Executive Order authorizing the call up of as many as 2,000 Georgia National Guard troops to State Active Duty.

"Through extensive emergency preparedness training, the brave men and women in the Georgia National Guard stand ready to serve above and beyond their traditional military duties. In states of emergency, they are equipped to take necessary action to protect the health and safety of Georgia families in every region," said Governor Kemp. "To assist with COVID-19 mitigation and critical services, including the transfer of Georgians currently at Dobbins Air Reserve Base to their homes, the Georgia National Guard will now be available to communities to ensure the steady supply of medical equipment, food, shelter, or related materials to keep Georgians safe in the weeks ahead."

The Georgia National Guard is already being used to help transfer the former passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship.

TALLAHASSEE (WCTV) — Georgia governor, Brian Kemp, issued a public health state of emergency in response to a growing number of coronavirus cases.

In the past couple weeks, the state saw a spike in confirmed COVID-19 patients. The metro-Atlanta area and North Georgia have been hit the worst. Some cases were serious enough to require hospitalization. Many of the cases are not associated with travelling outside of the U.S. and are under investigation on how they were transmitted.

There are now 66 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Georgia. That number is expected to rise. The number of cases doubled In several counties since yesterday.

Kemp says they increased the ability to test for the disease at state labs to speed up the process.

He says they "are processing 100 specimens per day, and by the end of next week, we will double it to 200 per day with the addition of new equipment and staff."

Daycares and schools were asked to take extra steps to keep students, teachers, and administrators safe. Restrictions for visitation at some state health facilities and correctional and juvenile justice facilities are now in place. State agencies are also asked to figure out telework policies without causing disruptions to services.

In a televised message, Kemp praised the president's actions in handling the pandemic. He thanked Pence for his leadership in this situation.

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