SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Governor Brian Kemp told reporters on Thursday he wants citizens to know there are no new cases of the coronavirus in the state and there is no need for people to panic.
On Monday, the state reported that two people from Fulton County had the virus and that one had recently traveled to Italy. But the governor says the state’s newly formed coronavirus task force, made up of a long list of people including lawmakers, medical personnel and airport officials, are establishing protocols.
Kemp said people should feel confident that the crisis is being managed.
“The vice president continues to stress as we do that the risk remains low,” said Kemp. “You need to continue to use common sense practices as you would during a normal flu season such as staying home if you’re sick.”
Kemp urged people not to “go out and buy masks, which won’t do you any good.” He said to follow guidelines regarding washing your hands and covering your sneezes.
The governor applauded action from the U.S. Senate to approve more than $8 billion to manage the crisis, some of which will be distributed to the states.
Kemp said that test kits have also been distributed to Georgia and that testing at the state lab began Thursday.
“If you are uninsured, we will provide the test for free. So, for no charge. And I wanted to make sure that message got out that although it is covered by insurance, you will not be charged for that,” added Dr. Kathleen Toomey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Some criticism is that there are not yet enough test kits nationwide.
The governor said that protocols for travel are being followed as well. “All direct flights from South Korea and Italy into the United States have multiple screens conducted before boarding these places in accordance with directions from the State Department,” said Kemp.
A spokesman from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta said extensive cleaning protocols have been established at the airport and for some airplanes.
“My team is in constant communication with our partners at all levels of government,” said Kemp. “We know there’s a lot of concern out there but we continue to empathize that there is no need to panic and there are no new cases.”