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Gov. Brian Kemp Discusses Hospital Staff Shortages at Roundtable

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11 Alive News
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Gov. Brian Kemp holding a hospital roundtable discussing COVID-19 in Georgia, with facilities from across the state taking part. The possibility of a surge during the holidays was discussed. 

“It’s no secret that here in Georgia we’re seeing increases in our covid data all across, really all the key metrics, and we’re continuing to meet and watch those numbers, daily."

There were additional areas of concern as well. 

Dr. Bryce Gartland President of Emory Healthcare Group says non-covid hospitalizations were up significantly. 

“Staffing, number one. While Emery is not tapped into state resources right now, I can tell you our contract labor, we went from 130 contract RNs to over 500 contract RNs. At those rates that Scott [Steiner] was articulating out, that is incredibly taxing on the system, it’s unsustainable. I am concerned that Georgia’s later into this third surge, which means we may be on the back of the line in terms of national access to a lot of that contract nursing staff. Number two is some of the supply chain, most particular on the diagnostic testing. And the third one is covid fatigue."

Staffing shortages were a particularly pressing issue for many of the rural hospitals taking part.

The governor says he also plans to follow CDC guidelines when it comes to distributing the vaccine.

The first round of vaccines could start this month.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
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