Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at the State Capitol on Aug. 16.

Under increasing pressure to address the surge in COVID-19 cases in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp said in a Aug. 16 press conference that state money would be used to hire additional healthcare workers, expand capacity, and close state offices on Sept. 3 to encourage employees to get inoculated.

“I’m asking all state employees who have not yet gotten their shot, to consider scheduling it on or before Sept. 3,” Kemp said.

Kemp said those who have already been vaccinated can treat the Friday as a “thank you for the work you have done and for stepping up to help protect yourself and others.”

The governor said Georgia will spend another $125 million to finance 1,500 additional hospital workers. He said 450 beds at regional hospitals are being readied to help swamped ICUs and emergency rooms as the delta variant of COVID-19 cuts a swath through the state.

As of Monday afternoon, the Georgia Department of Public Health was reporting 14,130 confirmed cases since Friday with 295 hospitalizations.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.