Gov. Kemp hopes Thanksgiving will bring a “bump, not a spike” in COVID-19 cases

ATLANTA — Governor Brian Kemp asked Georgia families to remain vigilant during the Thanksgiving holiday as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to creep higher.

“We’re asking all Georgians to continue to do a few simple things to help limit the spread of the virus,” Kemp said. “We want this to be a bump, not a spike.”

The governor reemphasized his four requests for Fall:

  • Wear a face mask
  • Social distance
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Follow the guidance of public health officials

Kemp asked families to gather virtually or to limit holiday gatherings to within the same household or to hold gatherings outside if possible.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Coronavirus Pandemic in Georgia]

“I know that people are frustrated and ready to return to normal, I am too. But we can’t grow weary. We have to keep our foot on the gas in this fight and as we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday. I think we have plenty to be thankful for.”

Kemp said the state has historically seen a jump in numbers after holidays and he has no plans to change the state guidance or or tighten restrictions on non-essential businesses.

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This week’s White House coronavirus report, obtained by ABC News, said Georgia remains in the red zone with cases above 100 per 100,000 people, but the state ranks just 48th when it comes to case growth.

The state is also in the bottom tier of test positivity, but in the orange zone, and is “in the early stages of full resurgence,” according to the report.

The White House report says a two-thirds of all Georgia counties have moderate or high levels of transmission. Georgia averaged 159 new cases per 100,000 in the week ending Nov. 22, about half of the national average of 356 per 100,000.

“When you compare us to the rest of the country, I’m ecstatic about where we are. But I’m also concerned about where we could go,” Kemp said.

Kemp said the state’s supplies of medical equipment, gloves and face masks remain at a strong level and he’s prepared to continue to ship needed supplies to hospitals and schools.

The governor also said the state is prepared to begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines once they are approved by the FDA. An update on the state’s vaccine distribution plan is expected in the coming days.

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