Important points from Governor Kemp's briefing on March 23, 2020, signs Executive Order
On March 23rd, Governor Kemp along with the Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey gave a briefing on the current outbreak and what government officials have done to address it. Below we list some points of interest, including a link to the Governor’s Executive Order.
Points of interest from Governor Kemp’s briefing on March 23, 2020.
- Graduate nursing students who have yet to take their licensing exams will also be allowed to seek temporary licensure through the Georgia Board of Nursing. These measures will directly address critical healthcare needs in the weeks ahead.
Governor Kemp's Executive Order.
- 25 fatalities caused by the virus as of 3.23.20. 772 cases in sixty-seven counties.
- "The Department of Public Health’s state lab has now conducted 1,245 COVID-19 tests, and commercial labs have conducted 3,824 COVID-19 tests. We now have twenty-three test sites for specific populations at the following locations: Cartersville, Rome, Dalton, Woodstock, Gainesville, Marietta, Atlanta, Morrow, Lawrenceville, Stone Mountain, Newnan, Dublin, Warner Robins, Augusta, Columbus, Valdosta, Tifton, Albany, Douglas, Statesboro, Brunswick, Savannah, and Athens. To be tested at one of these locations, you must have a referral from a medical provider. Tests are limited to elderly Georgians, members of the law enforcement community, first responders, long-term care facility residents and staff, and healthcare workers. We must protect those who are protecting us, and that is why we have these new testing sites in strategic locations statewide.
- All licensed Georgia pharmacists are now permitted to dispense a ninety-day supply of a prescription drug if a patient has no remaining refills and the pharmacist cannot get in contact with the prescribing provider. Pharmacists may also dispense early refills for prescription drugs. However, these authorizations do not apply to Schedule II controlled substances.
- "We have shipped out 532,170 N95 masks, 65,640 face shields, 640,600 surgical masks, 46,740 surgical gowns, 635,000 gloves, and sixty-four pallets of general hospital supplies. According to U.S. Health and Human Services, Georgia will receive a second delivery of PPE within the next five days. GEMA has placed an order for respirators, which are scheduled to be delivered to the state’s warehouse this Friday. GEMA continues to place orders for supplies and resources to support frontline healthcare providers and first responders.
- Several hospitals are facing potential bed space shortages and supply issues. To address these problems, we have identified multiple options to bolster capacity. For example, in Dougherty County, emergency management officials are working to reopen Phoebe North, which is currently closed but will offer at least twenty-six rooms for patients once we get it back up and running. In Albany, we have identified an additional facility with capacity for roughly sixty medical and isolation beds if needed. In addition, we have asked federal officials to allow us to keep the temporary medical facility at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Once cruise ship passengers depart, we are hopeful that we will have this location in the metro-area for patient diversion. It will offer roughly 200 patient beds if needed.
- "At the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, we have completed construction of an isolation zone to hold as many as twenty emergency housing units, and the campus offers as many as 242 dorm rooms to use for patient surge. Earlier today, Vice President Pence called on governors to inventory all of our outpatient surgical centers to determine potential bed space.
- Today I will issue an executive order requiring the Department of Public Health to require certain individuals with an increased risk of complications from COVID-19 to isolate, quarantine, or shelter in place.
- "At minimum, this order for isolation, quarantine, or shelter in place covers those who live in a long-term care facility, have chronic lung disease, are undergoing cancer treatment, have a positive COVID-19 test, are suspected to have COVID-19 because of their symptoms and exposure, or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
- This order will close all bars and nightclubs, and it will ban all gatherings of ten or more people unless you can maintain at least six feet between people at all times. This order will go into effect at noon tomorrow and expire at noon on Monday, April 6, 2020.
We will continue to share information as we receive and validate it.