Temporary Medical Unit reopens at Georgia World Congress Center

The Temporary Medical Unit reopened at the Georgia World Congress Center at noon Monday. Governor Brian Kemp announced the state would reopen the center last week as part of an effort to free up general hospital bed space.

The facility has a 120-patient capacity for non-critical COVID-19 patients.

"We identified the need for additional surge capacity more than what we had currently.  So, at that point the decision was made to go ahead and reopen the World Congress Center.  Literally it's using the same equipment and everything we had staged there previously," explained Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency Spokeswoman Lisa Rodriguez-Presley.  

The state has partnered with Grady Memorial Hospital to treat the patients housed at the facility.  Grady officials are also tracking hospital capacity information and helping coordinate transfers to the site.  

"That facility is set up so that if there is a need for a patient from Savannah, from Augusta for that care, then they can come to that facility," said Rodriguez-Presley.  

As of 3 p.m. Monday, 3,111 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. That number is up by 42 from Sunday. GEMA reports capacity for the ER beds is at 53%, critical care beds is at 85%, and general inpatient beds is at 78%.

GDPH reported a total of 195,435 confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia since the start of the pandemic.  

There have been 90 additional deaths bringing the total deaths from the virus to 3,842 on Monday, according to the GDPH.

Another 21,761 tests were added to the GDPH data set on Monday, bringing the total tests administered to just under 1.7 million. The GDPH now reports 11% of all tests have returned positive, a number that has steadily been increasing the past few weeks.