Delta variant accounts for nearly 100% of all COVID-19 cases now in Georgia

ATLANTA — More than half of the new COVID-19 outbreaks are happening inside Georgia schools, and in most cases while the children aren’t requiring hospitalizations, their parents may be.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot was at the state capitol Monday afternoon where Gov. Brian Kemp laid out new plans to try and help hospitals during this surge.

Department of Public Health Director Dr. Kathleen Toomey confirmed Monday that the Delta variant accounts for almost all of the new COVID-19 cases in Georgia.

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“This is indeed a delta surge. Virtually 100% of all cases are Delta variant,” Toomey said.

Toomey said COVID-19 hospitalizations are back at or near a pandemic high.

“We’re now approaching the worst cases in both the case numbers and hospitalizations that we’ve had since January, and in some cases, actually worse,” Toomey said.

Georgia is battling 170 brand new outbreaks of COVID-19 that, according to Toomey, is a record too.

“We’re seeing, however, the highest number of weekly outbreaks since the pandemic began. 170 outbreaks statewide with more than half of these outbreaks in K through 12 schools,” Toomey said.

Toomey said, for the most part, infected students are not requiring hospitalization, but she fears they’re infecting family members who are.

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Kemp is once again urging Georgians to get the vaccine, especially state employees who are getting this Friday off to get the shot.

He’s also sending 75 additional National Guard general purpose soldiers to back up the 105 medically trained soldiers assisting hospitals around Georgia.

“The thing we need to stay focused on, in my opinion, in Georgia is continuing to educate people about the life saving vaccines,” Kemp said.

Kemp said he also signed a new executive order that enables activation of the 2,500 Georgia National Guard troops to be deployed at the discretion of Adjunct Gen. Tom Carden, in coordination with the Department of Community Health.

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“While we are limited in the number of medically trained Guard members, Gen. Carden can call up due to their civilian employment. Hospitals and healthcare systems across our state have started requesting guardsmen and women for a variety of non-medical roles,” Kemp said.

In an effort to help get more people vaccinated, the governor also announced and incentive program for state employees.

“Approximately 325,000 members are currently eligible for the incentive, which would equate to a $150 Visa gift card or $480 in credits that can be used for various health care expenses,” Kemp said. “This also includes state health plan members who have already been vaccinated.”

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