Governor considers deploying strike teams to schools, colleges in event of COVID-19 outbreak

ATLANTA — In an exclusive interview, Gov. Brian Kemp said he is considering creating mobile testing strike teams to deploy to schools, colleges and universities in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The strike team could also be used at long term care facilities or at other potential hotspots. 

Kemp told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot that he’s worried about what he’s seen at some schools across the state with large gatherings of students.

This comes as the governor also looks at ramping up overall testing that is down across Georgia.

“I don’t know if it’s because the cases are declining, and people don’t sense the urgency to have a test right now like it was two or three weeks ago. I’m not exactly sure what that is,” Kemp said.

Kemp said state officials are really seeing it at the massive testing facility set up at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which he said is handling only a small percentage of its capacity.

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“We had the demand to do 5,000 tests a day, and we’re seeing you know, anywhere from 1,500, to 700 to 800. So obviously, there’s not a will there for people to get tested,” Kemp said.

He told Elliot that his administration is focusing on strategic ways to get testing where it’s needed most -- like targeting nursing homes and any hot spots that pop up.

“Our schools, not only higher (education) but K-12 as well, for teachers and university professors, the students obviously and our long-term care facilities,” Kemp said.

This is just in the discussion phase, nothing is official.

Kemp also told Elliot if people don’t want to get tested, it’s hard to make them get one.