Gov. Kemp deploys National Guard to help Georgia hospitals

Members of Georgia National Guard talk with health officials at hard-hit Albany hospital. (WALB-TV image)

ATLANTA, Ga. – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday he would deploy 105 medically trained National Guard personnel to hospitals across the state.

In coordination with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Community Health, the Georgia National Guard will deploy to more than a dozen hospitals, including Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick, Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah and Phoebe Putney in Albany.

“These guardsmen will assist our frontline healthcare workers as they provide quality medical care during the current increase in cases and hospitalizations, and I greatly appreciate General Carden and his team for their willingness to answer the call again in our fight against COVID-19,” Kemp said. “This Georgia National Guard mission is in addition to the 2,800 state-supported staff and 450 new beds brought online I announced last week, at a total state investment of $625 million through December of this year.”

According to the Georgia Department of Health dashboard on Tuesday morning, there were 13,352 patients in Georgia hospitals, or 86% of capacity, and 2,708 those were in intensive care beds, which is 88.6% of capacity. Region J, which includes Georgia’s coastal counties, had 904 patients out of 969 total beds, which 93% of capacity.

Over the last two weeks, Region J and Region M, which includes Charlton, Ware and Brantley counties, had the highest percent of positive tests and new cases in the state.

In his announcement of deploying additional guard members, Kemp took the opportunity to urge Georgians to talk to a medical professional about getting vaccinated.