Even as the White House Coronavirus Task Force warned that Georgia is “in the early stages of full resurgence” of the virus, Gov. Brian Kemp said in a Nov. 24 press conference that he has no plans to impose any additional restrictions on the state.
“I don’t see any reason to take any additional steps right now,” Kemp said at the State Capitol, noting that Georgia has enough hospital capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE).
“We’re not seeing a spike in cases here right now, so that’s why we’re urging people to follow the guidelines during the Thanksgiving holiday,” Kemp said. “If citizens follow the guidelines we won’t see a spike, and we’ll get through the bump in cases.”
Kemp urged Georgians to wear a mask, wash their hands, social distance, get a flu shot and follow CDC and state guidelines.
With families planning to gather for Thanksgiving this week, the governor encouraged people to gather virtually, limit gatherings to a few people or gather outside if possible. He said Georgians who are medically fragile or vulnerable to COVID-19 should continue to stay at home.
Insurance Commissioner John King said the CDC had approved the state’s vaccine distribution plan with the limited doses it is expected to initially receive. Those early doses would be going to Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens.
Both King and Kemp praised President Donald Trump and his administration for Operation Warp Speed. the federal plan to produce and deliver the two vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna.
Kemp said more details on the vaccine distribution plan would be announced in the coming days.
Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey noted the uptick in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths and encouraged residents to follow health guidelines and to get a flu shot to prevent a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and influenza.
Toomey said she didn’t want Georgians to get a false sense of hope that life would return to normal once the initial doses of the vaccine arrive. She said people would still need to wear masks and socially distance through next summer.
“Hopefully, by this time next year, the pandemic will be more under control not just here but throughout the country,” Toomey said.