Atlanta

As COVID-19 cases surge, Gov. Kemp says ‘no mandate is going to get rid’ of virus

Gov. Brian Kemp is warning Georgians not to let down their guard because COVID-19 vaccines are on their way.

In fact, he says it could be well into next year before they become available to the general public.

The governor said Tuesday that the initial supply of vaccines won’t be enough to combat the current surge of cases across the state. There are fears it will only get worse at and after Christmas.

That’s why Kemp is remaining adamant about taking precautions but also said there will be no statewide mandates.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot spoke with David Daum on Tuesday, who is recovering from a mild case of COVID-19.

“It’s serious. I think the best thing that we can do is protect others, wear a mask. It’s not that hard,” Daum said.

He’s echoing what Kemp is telling all Georgians: Wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently and follow state guidelines to stop the spread.

“To keep Georgia open, to keep hardworking people employed, to keep food on the table for thousands, please follow the guidance that we’ve been preaching for months now,” Kemp said.

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Kemp said he’s been keeping a close eye on the post-Thanksgiving surge of COVID-19 cases.

According to state statistics, the seven-day moving average of daily new cases is at 3,800 — its highest level since the July summer surge.

Georgia has also seen single day spikes of new cases top 4,800 twice in four days.

As of right now, more than 452,000 Georgians have had confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of nearly 3,700 from Monday.

That’s why Kemp is once again urging all Georgians to follow state guidelines, wear masks and practice social distancing.

But he said he does not plan to issue any statewide mandates.

“No government mandate is going to get rid of this virus. Individual Georgians stepping up to the plate who will slow the spread of COVID-19. That’s what I’m asking everyone to do,” Kemp said.

Daum told Elliot that he wears his mask at his home during his recovery to protect his partner.

“If I can wear it in my own home for 14-days, I think the least we can do (is wear a mask) out in public, right?” Daum said.

Daum says if it all looks good with how the vaccine goes in the United Kingdom, he plans to get one because it does appear after a period of time you can get the virus again.