ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is allocating $6M to get more healthcare staff and will deploy up to 2,500 national guards to help manage patient flow, parking and converting rooms into hospital beds.

Georgia can count on nearly 20,000 new coronavirus cases since Friday due to the delta variant surge.

Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia Public Health Commissioner said, “We are behind some of our other states behind the Delta surge, virtually 100% are Delta variant. Saturday we had 12, 223 cases reported which is one of our highest daily cases ever reported.”

A new CDC study shows unvaccinated people are 5 times more likely to contract covid and nearly 30 times more likely to be hospitalized.

“All 159 counties are at a high transmission level. Our percent PCRS is at a little over 17% which is high,” said Dr. Toomey.

That’s why state leaders want you to get vaccinated now, with Georgia’s fully vaccinated rate still below 50%.

Governor Brian Kemp said, “The numbers don’t lie. 95% with COVID have not been vaccinated.”

While Emory doctors say vaccine mandates in places like schools and businesses reduce outbreaks, Governor Kemp says he won’t issue a mask mandate but is urging people to get vaccinated.

“We need to unite and focus instead of mandates, which divides people,” said Governor Kemp.

Dr. Toomey emphasized, “Deaths and hospitalizations continue to be among unvaccinated people. I can’t say that enough.”

Governor Kemp issued a vaccine holiday on Friday, September 3rd for state employees to get vaccinated, and says if you’ve got the shot, you can take an extra day off and enjoy a 4-day Labor Day weekend. He’s also offering a $150 gift card or $480 in health credits for state employees who us the State’s benefit program.