April 8th, 2020 – 11:15 AM
Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) & Georgia Governor Brian Kemp-
(Via GPB) Gov. Brian Kemp and the state’s top legislative leaders will renew the state’s public health emergency for another month as Georgia begins to see a sharp uptick in cases and deaths from COVID-19.
As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, there are 9,156 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 348 reported deaths in all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties. More than 33,000 tests have been performed by state and commercial labs. The state also says 1,899 people have been hospitalized so far.
Georgia’s public health emergency will now run through May 13, Kemp announced Wednesday morning.
The original declaration was set to expire April 13. Under state law, the governor can renew the emergency, and both Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston agree with the move and will not call a special legislative session.
“To ensure the health and well-being of Georgians, I will extend the public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020,” Kemp said in a statement. “This measure will allow us to continue to deploy resources to communities in need, lend support to frontline medical providers, and keep preparing as we brace for potential patient surge in our healthcare facilities. We deeply appreciate the hard work of Georgians who are sheltering in place, using social distancing, and helping us flatten the curve. We are in this fight together.”
When the original public health emergency was signed, there were 66 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death. Now, the state has nearly 10,000 cases and 350 deaths across virtually every county.
Kemp will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. with an update on the state’s response and will likely address both the public health emergency and the stay-home order, which for now runs until April 13.