ATLANTA, Ga. (WSAV) – Governor Brian Kemp declared an unprecedented public health state of emergency for Georgia, effective Saturday morning.
Kemp held a press conference at 10 a.m. Saturday to provide an update on COVID-19 cases and further discuss the state’s plans moving forward.
As of Saturday morning, there are 64 coronavirus cases in Georgia. Friday night, the state was reporting only 42 cases. Kemp said this has been the largest increase in cases within 24 hours the state has seen.
The COVID-19 cases in Georgia are broken down below.
- Cobb County- 15 cases
- Fulton County- 11 cases
- DeKalb County- 8 cases
- Bartow County- 7 cases
- Cherokee County- 5 cases
- Fayette County- 4 cases
- Floyd County- 3 cases
- Coweta County- 2 cases
- Gordon County- 2 cases
- Gwinett County- 2 cases
- Lee County- 1 case
- Henry County- 1 case
- Lowndes County- 1 case
- Polk County- 1 case
- Charlton County- 1 case
In Bartow, Cobb and DeKalb County, the number of cases doubled overnight.
Read more and watch the full press conference below.
Kemp said under the state of emergency, Georgia has increased capacity at state labs for more coronavirus testings. Right now, the state labs are processing 100 specimens a day. Kemp said by the end of next week, 200 specimens will be processed a day after the addition of new equipment and staff.
Kemp announced that the state is also working to establish independent test sites throughout Georgia. Those locations are expected to be announced next week.
The declaration of the public health emergency comes with more funding to fight the spread of COVID-19.
“Out of an abundance of caution, I have worked with the Georgia General Assembly to appropriate $100 million in emergency funding to address the spread of coronavirus in Georgia,” Kemp said.
The governor called on daycares and schools to take every precaution to keep students and employees safe. He said the state has restricted visitation at some hospitals and detention centers. Kemp also asked faith-based organizations to consider cancelling services for the time being.
Kemp said he has also asked all state agencies to immediately have employees who can work remotely to do so.
Epidemiologists met with Kemp this week and recommended Georgians practice social distancing and postpone group congregations like sporting events and social gatherings. Kemp again stressed that those most at risk are elderly citizens and people with underlying, chronic health conditions.
Kemp has called a special session for the general assemble at 8 a.m. Monday morning.
“Please pray for the patients, their loved ones, medical providers, and all of the people working to address this health emergency,” Kemp said at the end of the press conference. “We are in this fight together, and because of that, we will be stronger than ever before. Thank you, and may God continue to bless the state of Georgia.”
News 3 has the latest updates on the coronavirus HERE.