ATLANTA (WSAV) – Gov. Brian Kemp says Georgia is holding its own as the new COVID-19 variant spreads across the U.S.
Omicron is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accounting for more than 73% of new cases.
Given the transmissibility of the variant, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) says the state’s omicron cases are likely in line with the national estimate.
DPH presumes omicron will account for all new COVID cases in Georgia in the coming weeks.
Kemp told reporters Monday that although hospitalizations are increasing, “our numbers are holding really well right now.”
“I’m hoping this variant — even though it’s spreading very quickly, which is worrisome because a lot of people are catching it very fast – but it doesn’t seem to be as potent as delta,” the governor said, adding, “but that’s just the early indicator. So we are literally following this 24/7.”
He said he’s been in contact with the state health department and hospital leaders during the holidays.
“You know, the hospitals are very busy right now even with non-COVID stuff. A lot of people getting end of the year elective surgeries and other things,” Kemp said, “and so they’re telling me if we can hold on until the end of the year and get past that, they feel like they’ll be in good shape for a while.”
The governor said he has no plans to take additional steps to combat a holiday surge.
“Not at this point. I think, from looking where we are, we’re still holding our own,” Kemp said.
Meanwhile, DPH said regardless of the variant, COVID prevention measures are the same. The state health department recommends getting the vaccine and booster dose in addition to wearing a mask indoors, avoiding crowded spaces, washing hands frequently and getting tested.