ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp and the state’s health director spoke Thursday about inaccurate coronavirus testing data .
Kemp held a news conference Thursday where he asked Georgians for patience, noting that state government isn't perfect and if there is a mistake they will own it.
“I have said from the very beginning that we are making decisions based on data, science, and the advice of public health officials like Dr. (Kathleen) Toomey," Kemp said referring to the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. We are also committed to full transparency and honesty as we weather this healthcare crisis.”
The governor said he also asking the department of public health to review how they are collecting testing data to make sure the numbers are accurate and the process transparent.
“They are taking massive amounts of data from countless sources, putting it into an accessible format under a global spotlight – all at breakneck speed," Kemp said. "Please afford them some patience, and please steer clear of personal attacks.”
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The governor reported that the state reached a new milestone Thursday in the fight against coronavirus, with hospitalizations for virus falling below 1,000 for the first time since May 1.
“GEMA’s 1 p.m. update has that number at 919 patients. That’s a 38% drop since May 1," Kemp said. "I want to thank our hospitals – large and small – for working with us over the last several months to enhance surge capacity.”
Toomey said there are now nine cases in Georgia of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, a disease sickening children around the country that is possibly linked to the novel coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said symptoms are prolonged fever, lasting four or more days; very red eyes; a rash spread across the body; reddening or peeling on palms and soles of feet; abdominal pain; and vomiting or diarrhea.
While the exact cause of the condition — and any link to COVID-19 — is not yet clear, experts believe the coronavirus may trigger the immune system to overreact and cause widespread inflammation throughout the body.
The governor also reminded Georgians to remain vigilant this holiday weekend because coronavirus is still among us.
"We’re all in this fight together. This Memorial Day, we want everyone to have a good, safe weekend in accordance with public health guidance,” Kemp said.
Kemp also encouraged all Georgians to keep any medical appointments or surgeries they may have scheduled because many people have canceled those appointment over fear of catching the virus.
“Georgia’s health systems are ready to serve patients for elective procedures and routine appointments. We strongly encourage everyone to get important check-ups on their calendar,” Kemp said. “In the past few days, we’ve seen reports that some of our largest, most successful hospital systems are having to furlough staff in the midst of a pandemic” he added. “Please go to the doctor for a check-up if you’re due for one. Schedule time for routine procedures, like dental cleanings and eye exams, and prioritize your health.”
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