State spends $72 million for extra hospital beds, staff around Ga.

Gov. Brian Kemp and the state’s coronavirus task force said Saturday four new mobile medical units and expansions at two hospitals will add nearly 300 hospital beds to Georgia’s inventory as the state prepares for the coming peak in patient demand from COVID-19.

Kemp said in a news release that 20-bed mobile medical units will be deployed to Albany and Rome, and a 24-bed unit will be located in Atlanta. A second unit with 24 beds is on standby.

The mobile facilities will be deployed in mid-April. Kemp previously announced the purchase of the mobile units.

MORE DETAILS: Hospitals, state scramble to prepare for coronavirus surge

The state also announced the planned addition of 208 hospital beds in Albany and Snellville. The state has worked with Phoebe Putney Health System to reopen Phoebe North Campus in Albany, where the release said the system will open 12 new intensive care beds with in a week and 15 general hospital beds by mid-April. Another 15 ICU beds will follow in mid-April and 59 general beds will come online in May.

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In Snellville, the reopened HCA Eastside Medical Center will have 24 ICU beds and 36 general beds will be opened up starting within a week, with 30 ICU beds and an additional 17 general beds to be added by late April.

Kemp said the state has committed $72 million to the additional beds, including $12 million for additional staff at the main Phoebe Putney hospital in Albany.

“These projects have been underway for several weeks based on modeling and epidemiological recommendations, and we are following leads on several more proposals to expand healthcare capacity as we prepare for patient surge later this month,” Kemp said in the release. “

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