Georgia World Congress Center to be reactivated for COVID-19 patient overflow as case numbers rise

Gov. Brian Kemp and state officials announced Friday plans to reactivate the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) temporary medical facility standing by for COVID-19 patients.

The governor's office said the GWCC will be reactivated utilizing state-owned assets – hospital beds, medical equipment, etc. – procured through the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency earlier this year.

"Over the past two weeks, we have experienced an increase in cases and hospitalizations, and following a drop-off in specimens collected over the holiday weekend, we now expect a trend of higher case numbers as new results arrive," the governor's office released in a statement.


Officials said the state plans to leverage a new contract for enhanced bed capacity with a metro-Atlanta area hospital, which is expected to add nearly 100 med-surg and ICU beds to existing infrastructure, coupled with “standby” beds at GWCC should additional needs arise.

More details are expected be provided in the coming days. 

Currently, 82% of Georgia’s critical care beds are in use and health systems across the state say they’re quickly nearing capacity as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

In metro Atlanta, Emory Healthcare said hospitalizations of its confirmed COVID-19 patients have more than tripled in the past 14 days.


According to state health officials, more than 111,211 people in Georgia have had confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 2,965 people in the state have died after contracting the virus.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.