ATLANTA, GA. (WJBF) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp encouraged people to get vaccinated as coronavirus cases soar in the state, pushing hospitals to capacity.
Governor Kemp is closing all state offices on, Friday September 3rd, for people to get the COVID-19 shot and says if you’ve already received the dose, you can take the day off as an incentive if you’re a state employee.
The State Health Department reports 14,000 new coronavirus infections since Friday while the vaccination rate in Georgia still lingers at 41%.
Governor Brian Kemp said, “Talk to your doctor, pharmacists or faith leader about the vaccine.”
The state’s health commissioners say the delta variant now accounts for 9 out of 10 new cases.
“This variant is much more transmissible. It causes you to get infected quickly within a matter of days than weeks. It is not surprisingly and making a B line for unvaccinated individuals. The good news is that vaccines do work,” said Dr. Kathleen Toomey.
Governor Kemp says 9 out of 10 people in hospitals with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
“This safe vaccine will reduce the likelihood you will get COVID-19. More importantly it will reduce you ending up in a hospital bed or losing your life.”
That’s why he is pushing the FDA to give full approval as many unvaccinated people are hesitant because the vaccines are under “Emergency Use Authorization.”
Despite the surge, Governor Kemp says he won’t mandate masks or vaccines.
“Georgia will remain open for business. We won’t shut down. We won’t prevent families from earning a paycheck. Georgians know the risk and know we have the tools to prevent hospitalization and deaths” said Governor Kemp.
But instead, he says he will double state supported hospital staff from 1300 to 2800 to alleviate health care workers, as beds reach capacity.
The FDA and CDC have approved a 3rd booster shot for people who are immunocompromised, those with organ transplants, cancer, kidney or heart disease or other weaker immune systems.
The Biden Administration hopes to lay out a full booster shot strategy in September for those who are fully vaccinated.