Governor promises financial resources as Georgia COVID-19 hospitalizations rise


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – COVID-19 cases in Georgia are rising at a troubling rate, and more than 2,000 patients are currently hospitalized with the virus statewide.

Many hospitals are keeping up for now — but CEOs tell Gov. Brian Kemp they’re worried. Hospitalizations are the highest total since August.

In Chatham County, there are more than 70 COVID-19 patients across the county’s three hospitals.

“It’s no secret that here in Georgia we’re seeing increases in our COVID data all across, really all the key metrics, and you know, we are continuing to meet and watch those numbers daily,” Kemp said.

During a hospital roundtable discussion Wednesday, officials from larger facilities told the governor they’re handling the higher patient load. But smaller hospitals are struggling with bed capacity and staff.

The CEOs say much has been learned about treatments and report that patients are on ventilators for shorter periods of time. Still, supplies, personal protective equipment and staffing are just some of the challenges these hospitals continue to face.

Kemp promised financial resources to help hire staff, saying some funding from the CARES Act is still available.

Meanwhile, smaller facilities and even some larger ones said they are struggling not only to find staff but to keep staff as the pandemic continues.

“We’re going to continue to work with you on all of those resources your facilities may need, and throughout the whole pandemic I have watched our hospital numbers very closely, so we know what is happening,” the governor said, “and then also with the tragic losses that we’ve had with COVID. And we just want to mitigate that as much as we can until we get the vaccine out.”

Kemp says health care workers will receive priority when a vaccine is available.

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