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Get COVID shot but don’t expect shutdown, Kemp tells Georgians

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 7:33 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp stressed again to state residents that there will be no statewide shutdown as the state endures another wave of COVID-19 infections, this time fueled by the super-contagious delta variant.

But he emphasized that the COVID-19 vaccines are a ticket out of the pandemic, urging Georgians to get their shots.

“The delta variant is something that we haven’t seen before, spreading very fast,” Kemp said Monday in Savannah after speaking at the Georgia Municipal Association convention. “My message to local health districts, to local leaders ... to our citizens ... is look, we’ve got a lifesaving vaccine that was created through Operation Warp Speed during the Trump administration. We’ve got to continue to get the vaccine out.”

Kemp says if folks have any doubts or questions about what they need to do, to ask their doctor.

“What my message is, talk to your local doctor, talk to your local pharmacist and make a good health care decision for you and your family,” Kemp said.

Kemp said that when the state implemented a shutdown during the start of that pandemic, that was before vaccines were available. So a shutdown won’t happen again.

Kemp also is speaking out about masks in schools and potential vaccine incentives.

Kemp says he’s seen those programs in other states and does not think government incentives will make people who are hesitant get vaccinated.

As far as mandating masks in schools, he says he does not believe making a statewide decision is what’s best for Georgia.

His statements echoed what his counterpart across the Savannah River also said Monday,

In a news conference Monday morning in Columbia, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, He also said mask mandates and economic shutdowns are not the answer to battling the coronavirus but common sense and personal responsibility are.

In addition to discussing COVID’s impacts on Georgia Municipal Associated member cities and counties, Kemp spoke about the billions of dollars in one-time federal aid through the American Rescue Plan Act coming to the state to help local economies rebound.

His office has assigned committees to help with oversight of the funds to make sure they have the biggest impact.

“I believe that these bipartisan Georgia jobs and infrastructure committees that I’ve set up here in our state, working with members of the general assembly, will make sure this new funding is targeted in a way that makes smart long-term investments in every region of our state,” Kemp said.

From reports by WTOC and WRDW/WAGT