Gov. Kemp visits Albany hospital pod, says state isn't 'out of the woods'

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp traveled to south Georgia Tuesday morning to tour a new modular hospital unit at Phoebe Putney Health System's North campus.

The state purchased four of the mobile units to prepare extra hospital bed space during the coronavirus pandemic.

"They're going to be for COVID patients not only from this area but any potential overflow that we might have around the rest of the state," Gov. Kemp explained.

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The shipping containers arrived in Albany April 15 and the hospital will move its first patients into them May 6. The "pods" have 24-bed spaces for non-critical patients.

"There were some dark days because this wasn't something that any of us ever envisioned, but because we did it together we never ran out of PPE, y'all flew in medication when we needed it within hours to supporting us with this facility here," said hospital CEO Scott Steiner.

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Gov. Kemp said the state will soon position another pod in the Gainesville area, which is currently experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases.

"We're placing them strategically around the state," explained Kemp. "One of the places that we're going to be standing a unit like this up is in Gainesville, which is something that we're probably going to need. They're being stressed pretty hard up there at the moment."

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The governor also warned people not to become complacent.

"We're not out of the woods yet, just because we're methodically reopening our country and our businesses here in our state. We've got to continue to be diligent on socially distancing. If you can't social distance, you need to have a mask on," Gov. Kemp said.

RELATED:, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.

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