Gov. Kemp urging Georgia's long-term care facilities to restrict visitors

Georgia's governor is urging long-term care facilities in the state to restrict visitors to protect residents from the novel coronavirus.

(Jonas Güttler/picture alliance via Getty Images)

On Monday, Gov. Brian Kemp and the Georgia Health Care Association released a statement asking nursing facilities, assisted living communities, and personal care homes to restrict all visitors, volunteers, and non-essential personnel outside of compassionate care situations to reduce the spread of the virus.

This request comes after the World Health Organization estimated a mortality rate of 21.9% for people over 80 infected with COVID-19.

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"There is a significant risk that individuals who seem healthy could visit a facility and unintentionally endanger residents," Kemp said in a statement. "As such, it is critical that we take these precautions to protect the frail and elderly. We ask all members of the public who have loved ones residing in a long-term care facility to remain patient."

The Governor's Office said that they are asking facilities to provide alternative means of communication between family members and residents. Officials are also asking healthcare providers to avoid group activities and continue screenings.

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"We ask all members of the public who have loved ones residing in a long-term care facility to remain patient," the governor said. "A temporary restriction on visitation is critical in the fight to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

On Monday, Georgia announced that the state has confirmed 121 cases of the coronavirus. Over 40% of the cases involved residents 60 years old or older.