ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — In a news conference on May 21, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp said the battle of COVID-19 is far from over, but he said he is encouraged by feedback from state officials regarding efforts to increase testing and stop the virus from spreading.
Kemp recapped how the state has increased coronavirus testing capacity, which has enabled more people to get tested, and he discussed the additional testing sites that have opened. He also said there is a steady decline in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19, while crediting the public for following public safety guidance.
He urged the public to make doctor and other routine medical appointments, as hospitals furlough employees due to lack of work during the pandemic.
Kemp reported there are less than 1,000 people currently hospitalized in Georgia with COVID-19.
He and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey also acknowledged coronavirus data comes form a number of sources and is subject to human error, when he was asked what the state is doing to address any discrepancies. Kemp urged the public to be patient in regard to their efforts to report accurate data.
Toomey weighed in, saying there are skilled Centers for Disease Control Prevention-trained workers updating the data many times on a daily basis and referenced several updates and changes made to the DPH website over the last few months. She also said they plan to do more accuracy checks and get more feedback to address the concerns.
In addition, she discussed how contact tracing is expected to play a major role in stopping the virus at this state of the pandemic. Plans are underway to have 500 contact tracers working by Monday, to help track people who have been in contact with those infected with COVID-19. Toomey said they expect to have 1,000 workers by mid-June.
Other state officials weighed in on disinfection of long term care facilities, Georgia National Guard efforts, personal protection equipment (PPE) parks, social distancing, farmers and the crop situation.