By Tia Lynn Ivey
Confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise across the state of Georgia, with 37 confirmed cases in Morgan County, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH). Statewide, confirmed cases climb to 43,730 and deaths top 1,871 as of press time on Tuesday, May 26.
As of press time, Morgan County’s 37 confirmed cases include four hospitalizations and zero deaths.
As of press time, Georgia has conducted a total of 514,945 tests statewide. According to GDPH, out of Georgia’s 43,730 confirmed cases, 7,547 people have been hospitalized, 1,703 people have been admitted to the ICU, and 1,871 people have died.
Some counties surrounding Morgan County are also experiencing a rise in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
According to GDPH, Greene County has 64 confirmed cases, seven deaths and 19 hospitalizations. Putnam County has 88 cases, eight deaths, and 16 hospitalizations. Jasper County has 32 confirmed cases, one death and four hospitalizations. Oconee County has 105 confirmed cases, with five deaths and 17 hospitalizations. Walton County has 215 confirmed cases with 11 deaths and 30 hospitalizations. Newton County has 315 confirmed cases, resulting in 10 deaths and 59 hospitalizations. Morgan County cases combined with surrounding counties total 856 confirmed cases, 42 deaths, and 149 hospitalizations.
Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Governor Brian Kemp, who made national news for his controversial decision to reopen Georgia’s economy at the end of April, is now offering to host the Republican National Convention in August, should President Donald Trump accept.
“With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention,” Kemp tweeted Tuesday. “We hope you will consider the Peach State, @realDonaldTrump!”
Kemp, who urged Georgians to schedule a coronavirus test whether or not they have any symptoms in early May, believes the state’s ramped up testing and focus on contract testing is sufficient to reopen businesses and even host a National Convention.
“Nobody was prepared for this widespread testing like we’re doing,” Kemp said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Thankfully, we’ve ramped up our sampling with 66 testing sites around the state, so we are pushing our labs. We wanted to increase our testing, and now we’re working on increasing our lab capacity.”
However critics are not so sure, with recent criticisms over how the state reported coronavirus numbers through the Georgia Department of Public Health. Detected errors in case rates and tests conducted prompted swift backlash from Georgia Democrats and prompted Governor Kemp to order a review of how the state is reporting coronavirus data.
“We’re not perfect. We make mistakes,” said Kemp in a statement.
According to Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia’s public health commissioner, the state has implemented new protocols to screen for errors in coronavirus figure before being posted to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website.