Gov. Kemp names coronavirus task force including Senator from Savannah

Georgia News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Governor Brian Kemp is taking precautions to keep people in Georgia safe from the coronavirus.

Friday afternoon he announced a task force to assess the state’s preparation. Governor Kemp has been in contact with Vice President Mike Pence about how the Trump administration plans to be proactive in slowing the impact of coronavirus.

A local senator from right here in Savannah was appointed to that new task force.

“There’s a lot of fear associated with this, but we are prepared,” Georgia Senator, Ben Watson said.

Senator Watson was one of 18 appointed to the new coronavirus task force. The newly appointed members met Friday for the first time.

“Basically a lot of the same information was dispersed to us. Introductions were done and time tables. We’ll continue to meet next week and we’ll have another meeting on Monday,” Watson said.

State officials are making sure they’re well prepared for what’s could come. Governor Kemp along with the Georgia Department of Public Health unveiled the task force will assess the state’s preparations and procedures to prevent and address any cases of coronavirus.

“Georgia, as you know, does not have any confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but we remain very vigilant,” Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp said.

Georgia Department of Public Health Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey is overseeing the task force.

“Risk for transmission here in Georgia remains low, but I know the question you have today is will there be cases. We have no way of when or if we’ll have COVID-19 cases,” Toomey said.

Coronavirus continues to spread with nearly 82,000 known infections worldwide. Dr. Toomey said at the press conference that her team is ready to go with a robust plan. Senator Watson tells News 3 that a plan includes a locked-down quarantine area in a hotel near the Atlanta airport.

“They’ve had it rented out for about three weeks or so and they’re prepared to have anybody that comes in from a very high-risk area in China where it has originated or spread to and they will quarantine people there,” Watson said.

“We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best on this,” Kemp said.

The governor’s office is asking that everyone remain calm and to follow the guidance that they’re getting from federal and state officials.

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