As of Tuesday, confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients made up 34% of all hospitalized patients in Georgia. Intensive care units and emergency rooms across the state have been flooded for days, forcing hospitals to divert some ambulance traffic and leaving patients waiting longer than normal for care.
The number of hospitalized COVD-19 patients — in excess of 5,300 statewide — is growing quickly and approaching the pandemic record set in January. Some hospitals in South Georgia are carrying COVID-19 patient loads that have already surpassed their previous peaks.
It won’t be the first time Kemp has called in help from the National Guard to fight the disease. The governor last year dispatched hundreds of Guard “strike teams” to long-term care facilities, nursing homes and other areas of the state struggling with the pandemic.
Staff writer Carrie Teegardin contributed to this article.