Gov. Kemp names state coronavirus task force

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp named a coronavirus task force Friday afternoon, according to a released from the Governor's office.

The task force will be responsible for assessing the state's preperations and procedures for identifying, preventing, and addressing any possible cases of the COVID-19.

The Governor's Office said, Kemp spoke with Vice President Mike Pence Friday morning about efforts at the federal level to lessen the impact of the COVID-19, before announcing the Georgia task force.  

"In accordance with the [Trump] Administration's initiatives, Georgia's coronavirus task force represents a coalition of subject-matter experts from the private and public sectors who will work together on preventative measures, strategic deployment of resources, and collaboration across all levels of government," Governor Kemp said in a statement.

The coronavirus continues to spread as infected numbers topped 82,000 worldwide on Friday and sent U.S. stock markets to their biggest daily drop in history yesterday.

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Meanwhile, The pet dog of a coronavirus patient was placed in quarantine on Wednesday after testing "weak positive" for the virus in Hong Kong, according to a government press release on Friday. If confirmed, it would mark the first case of the virus in a pet animal.

"At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Georgia, but we remain vigilant and continue to plan for all contingencies. Fortunately, the Peach State boasts some of the world's most advanced healthcare experts and institutions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," said Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey, MD, MPH. "We are taking action now - ahead of any confirmed cases - to make sure that we are ready for any scenario."

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