WASHINGTON – Congressman David Scott (GA-13), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, today urged Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to take action to address the recent surge in COVID-19 related hospitalizations across the state of Georgia. In the letter, the members call for Kemp to place a statewide pause on elective in-patient surgeries and to extend licensing requirement waivers for hospitals and health care workers who can provide critical services beyond the September 19th deadline.
“With the COVID-19 Delta variant expanding to every corner of our state, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases—particularly among children and the unvaccinated,” the lawmakers wrote. “Hospital systems are being forced to make difficult decisions about how to care for patients when there aren’t enough resources to go around. Our state is at a critical point in its fight against the pandemic and as elected officials, we must prioritize the health and well-being of our citizens above all other considerations.”
The members’ letter follows reports Friday, September 3 from the Georgia Department of Health that Georgia has surpassed 20,000 deaths related to COVID-19 and comes as recent data confirms that unvaccinated patients have pushed Georgia’s hospitals to the limits of their capacity, with nearly 92 percent of emergency room beds in the state currently occupied. Modeling from the state COVID-19 tracking system continues to predict a surge of serious COVID-19 cases that will require extended hospital care, creating challenges for hospital systems to meet the needs of patients dealing with the disease and other life-threatening medical emergencies.
“We urge you to take the necessary steps to ensure the availability of adequate hospital capacity to provide the best possible care for COVID-9 patients,” the letter continues. “Placing a temporary pause on elective procedures and extending licensing requirement waivers for hospitals and health care workers would demonstrate Georgia’s commitment to our health care community and your continued dedication to eradicating the pandemic.”
Read the full letter here.
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