Thursday, May 21, 2020
ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says the state is improving when it comes to COVID-19, but we're not out of the woods yet.
"As of today, we have less than 1,000 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in our state. GEMA's 1 p.m. update has that number at 919 patients. This is a 38 percent drop since May 1," Kemp said.
But Kemp's team is also facing fresh criticism of how it re-opened the state. Kemp has maintained from the beginning of the crisis that he would let the data decide when the state needed to re-open. But a recent report indicated that the data used by Kemp's team may have been flawed.
The governor defended the data.
"We are committed to full transparency and honesty as we whether this healthcare crisis, Georgia families, businesses, local leaders, and the press deserve accurate data," Kemp said.
State Public Health Director Dr. Kathleen Toomey also came to the defense of her agency's data collection.
"The integrity of our data is absolutely our number one priority as this pandemic has evolved. Data continue to evolve just as the technology continues to evolve around testing, and being able to identify who has the virus. You know we have to have transparency. We're continuing to work to improve all of our reporting systems. That is what is going to give us the ability to respond adequately," Toomey said.
This comes as Vice President Mike Pence makes his way to the Peach State. Pence will be in Atlanta on Friday to talk with Kemp about the state’s re-opening plans. He’ll then head to Norcross for a round-table discussion with restaurant executives at the Waffle House headquarters.
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Georgia has had more than 39,000 confirmed cases of the virus. At least 1,687 people have died.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.
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