He urged Georgians to resist buying specialized masks and to be “very smart” about what they’re doing. He also called on residents to heed federal guidelines urging travelers not to visit countries on the restricted list.
So far, 11 deaths in the U.S. have been linked to the virus and nearly 200 confirmed cases in 18 states across the nation. Several states have declared emergencies, including California, though Georgia has not done so yet.
The illness, known as COVID-19, is characterized by fever and coughing and, sometimes, pneumonia and shortness of breath. Around the world, there were about 98,000 cases and more than 3,300 deaths from the virus, most of them in China.
But it continues to spread globally, forcing flights to cancel, school districts to shut down and lives turned upside down.
In Georgia, Kemp named a task force to identify the best ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But he has said it's too early to take additional steps, such as encouraging state employees to work from home.
Kemp also said Thursday he doesn’t yet plan to ask state lawmakers for more funding or specific legislation to respond to the illness.
On the federal level, President Donald Trump is soon expected to approve an $8.3 billion package of emergency aid. And he's set to visit the the CDC on Friday as he tries to calm growing fears about the outbreak.