ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Health website that tracks cases of COVID-19 shows statewide cases plateauing, but not quite meeting the White House standards for reopening.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot spent the day in contact with the governors’s office and the Department of Health to get a better idea of the numbers that motivated Gov. Brian Kemp to start reopening Georgia businesses.
The charts seem to show a flattening of the curve when it comes to cumulative new cases of COVID-19. The seven day moving average of new cases seems to be trending downward, even though the governor’s office cautioned that there is a 14-day window of uncertainty with more test results coming in.
The amount of COVID-19 tests administered in Georgia hit a record on Tuesday with 13,000 reported. There are now 49 testing sites across the state in addition to nine run by the Georgia National Guard.
Governor Kemp also announced Georgia hospitals are using the lowest number of ventilators since the peak of the outbreak. Kemp said in a tweet that there are 992 ventilators in use, with 1854 ventilators available across the state.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency reports only 30 percent of emergency room beds, 67 percent of critical care beds and 61 percent of general inpatient beds are in use across the state.
Governor Kemp told Elliot in an exclusive interview that bed space played a large role in his decision to reopen businesses.
“Really the whole social distancing reason that we closed some of these businesses was to flatten the curve to give us time to build out hospital bed capacity,” Kemp said.
Still there is plenty of criticism for Kemp, especially on social media where one person wrote “Just because we have the hospital capacity to take on more COVID cases doesn’t mean we should try to.”
Kemp says despite criticism from President Trump, he’s pushing on.
“We’re in good shape to handle it. We’re going to continue to work with the administration because the president and I have the same exact goal. We want to keep people safe but we both realized we’ve got to reopen the economy.”
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