CORONAVIRUS IN GEORGIA: First patients treated at Georgia World Congress Center

GEORGIA — Here’s a roundup of what’s happening so far today, April 22: (Click here for the previous day)

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  • As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, there were 21,102 confirmed cases, 846 deaths and 4,018 total hospitalizations.
  • That’s up from 12 p.m. Wednesday, when there were 20,740 cases, 836 deaths and 3,959 hospitalizations. This is all according to data from the Georgia Department of Public Health.
  • The first COVID-19 patients are being treated at the Georgia World Congress Center. Channel 2′s Richard Elliot confirmed are seven patients at the facility. Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted five patients are from Grady Hospital and two more will join them later. The cases being treated at the GWCC will be mild to moderate cases that do not need a ventilator. Elliot toured the facility last week with Kemp. The goal is to host patients who didn’t have a safe place to stay while freeing up hospital space for the most critical COVID-19 patients.
  • Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne reported that Emory University Hospital Midtown “has closed a non-COVID-19 ICU out of abundance of caution after some staff within that unit tested positive for coronavirus," according to a hospital email.
  • Kia Motors says it is extending its suspension of vehicle production through Friday, May 1. Vehicle production will resume on Monday May 4.
  • At least three members of Gov. Brian Kemp’s coronavirus task force say they were not told of his plans to reopen until he announced it Monday afternoon.
  • Hundreds can get tested during an event today at the Infinite Energy Center in Gwinnett County. The Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County health departments will conduct 800 tests. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms is eligible to get tested but appointments are required. You can click here for more information.
  • There are now more options than ever if you need to get tested for coronavirus. Here are the steps.
  • Diabetes is an increased risk factor for contracting COVID-19, and now the Boston-based nonprofit T1D Exchange is conducting a large-scale study to find out why. The organization quickly organized a study at the start of the outbreak and now is compiling data from 50 medical centers.
  • Cobb County will reopen the Silver Comet Trail and “passive” parks in the county effective Saturday, April 25. Passive parks are those without amenities like playgrounds, ballparks, soccer fields, or tennis centers. The passive parks allow for more social distancing under public health guidelines. Based on Public Health guidance, those who use these facilities and trails will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear masks.