ATLANTA - Today marks the lowest day for ventilators in use in Georgia during the coronavirus pandemic since health officials started keeping track, Gov. Brian Kemp has announced.
On Twitter, Kemp said that 992 out of an available 2,846 ventilators are in use around the state - leaving 1,854 available.
The number is the lowest since Georgia hospitals started keeping track and submitting ventilator use data to Georgia Emergency Management on April 8.
As of Tuesday, the coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people statewide, including over 400 people living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities.
The governor has not said whether he plans to extend Georgia’s shelter-at-home order that’s set to expire after Thursday. Meanwhile, he has also allowed restaurants to resume dine-in service, and permitted hair salons, tattoo parlors, movie theaters, and bowling alleys to reopen, pointing to expanded testing, new data from the Department of Health, and enhanced capacity as his reasoning.
Kemp has said it’s imperative during the health crisis response to also mitigate deep economic suffering across Georgia. The state Department of Labor last week reported that 1.1 million workers — about one-fifth of the state’s workforce — filed for unemployment since the crisis started.
Last week, Kemp issued a new executive order instructing people 65 and older as well as those with medical conditions and residents of nursing homes and other care facilities to stay in place through at least May 13. But the governor said he was still examining data and consulting with Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey about what rules should apply to others.
“We’re going to be making some decisions, most likely in the next couple of days of what the next week, two weeks or month looks like, based on that data,” Kemp said at a press conference Monday. “I just haven’t made those decisions yet.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.