ATLANTA — Cases of coronavirus are surging around the country following the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, hospitalizations have risen so quickly in Georgia, the governor opened a large field hospital in Atlanta for the third time since the pandemic started.
The alternative hospital bed capacity facility at Georgia’s World Congress Center reopened Thursday, days after the state jumped up in a White House report ranking states based on new coronavirus cases.
Georgia went from 26th to 11th in the number of cases reported for the week of Christmas. The Peach State now ranks 7th in the country for hospital admissions.
The White House report says nearly all of Georgia’s 159 counties are reporting moderate to high levels of community transmission; more than 140 counties are in the “red zone” for cases.
On Monday, 25 hospitals around the state reported that their ICUs were full.
A hospital system in northeast Georgia has started putting beds in a nearby gym to care for people with milder cases of coronavirus.
“No unmasked public gatherings are safe and no indoor private gatherings are safe without all members fully masked, unless all members are actively taking the same precautions and regularly test negative,” said the White House report, dated Sunday, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
After the White House coronavirus task force report was released, Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp reiterated he does not plan any new limits on businesses or gatherings, or mandating mask-wearing. Instead, he says it is a personal responsibility to help control the spread of the coronavirus.