Governor Brian Kemp tours Columbia County’s coronavirus antibody testing site


EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) — Georgia Governor Brian Kemp spent his day in the Augusta area. His final stop of the day was at Evans High School. That’s where Augusta University is testing people for coronavirus antibodies.

“Doug called me and said, governor, I want to do some antibody testing in Columbia County,” said Governor Kemp. “I made one phone call and put him in touch with our folks. The next thing you know, we are at this amazing site.”

For more than a week, Evans High’s gym has been the home for antibody testing for Columbia County Employees. Thursday, the governor got a first-hand look at what they’re doing.

“All of us have worked together on the fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Kemp. “However, we are in another fight, as you all know, which is to open our economy.”

Testing has been done to help doctors figure out who develops antibodies and why; also how the virus responds to those antibodies.

“This will give us great insight,” explained AU’s president, Dr. Brooks Keel. “Not only to those who have had the disease before but whether or not they had symptoms. And, when those symptoms occurred, we can have a look back in time to see when this virus was here.”

The results of the study will help Columbia County leaders make decisions on local schools and businesses.

“We’re in it together to make we have enough data,” said Doug Duncan. “We need to make data-based-decisions to help the citizens and whether to reopen.”

Governor Kemp says the information could also be a stepping stone to help him decide to continue reopening the rest of the peach state.

“I think it will continue to give us more scientific data on what the community spread has been like, and where it was happening,” said Governor Kemp.

The Georgia Governor also talked about the recent protests. The GBI says in Fulton County between May 29th and June 1st, more than 370 people were arrested in connection to protests.

Photojournalist: Will Baker

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