Georgia adds 296 hospital beds as it prepares for COVID-19 patient surge

Press release from Gov. Brian Kemp

Atlanta, GAGov. Brian Kemp and the Coronavirus Task Force today announced plans to deploy four temporary medical units for 88 hospital beds and has expanded capacity at two reopened healthcare facilities for 208 beds to prepare for the expected COVID-19 surge. The state has committed about $72 million for this,  including $12 million for additional medical staff at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.

According to the statistics prepared for authorities by Christopher J.L. Murray, MD, DPhil,  Georgia is expected to peak at 96 deaths a day on April 25, 2020, and if that the projections are correct, Georgia will be short 1,880 hospital beds and 941 ICU beds at that time. New York and California had floating hospitals deployed to those states to help cope with the shortages in those areas. Georgia is expected to be one of the next states to become a hotspot. Murray is the Chair and Professor of Health Metrics Sciences and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. His career has focused on improving health for everyone worldwide by improving health evidence.”

This study is the first set of predicted health service utilization and deaths due to COVID-19 by day for the next 4 months for each state in the US. It is the one being used by the scientists, the president, the governors and everybody else trying to figure out what to do. The purpose of the study is to measure deaths as well as bed, ICU and ventilator use and needs going forward. It is adjusted daily as the new figures come in.

Kemp’s full release follows.

Today Governor Brian P. Kemp and the Coronavirus Task Force announced plans to deploy four temporary medical units for eighty-eight hospital beds and expanded capacity at two reopened healthcare facilities for 208 beds to prepare for COVID-19 patient surge. The state has committed roughly $72 million for these projects, including $12 million for additional medical staff at .

The state has purchased four temporary medical units with a total of eighty-eight beds. One unit with twenty beds will be located in Rome. One unit with twenty beds will be located in Albany. One unit with twenty-four beds will be placed in Atlanta. One more unit with twenty-four beds will be available to deploy based on community needs. These units will be deployed in mid-April.

At the reopened Phoebe North Campus in Albany, there will be twelve new ICU beds available within the week, fifteen general beds and fifteen ICU beds by mid-April, and fifty-nine general beds in May. At the reopened HCA Eastside Medical Center in Snellville, there will be a rolling start of twenty-four ICU beds and thirty-six general beds within a week and a rolling start, depending on staff availability, of thirty ICU beds and seventeen general beds by late April.

“These projects have been underway for several weeks based on modeling and epidemiological recommendations, and we are following leads on several more proposals to expand healthcare capacity as we prepare for patient surge later this month,” said Governor Kemp. “At every stage of decision-making, our team is consulting with public health and emergency management experts in the private and public sectors. Together, we are working around the clock to prepare for future needs in our fight against the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia. In the days ahead, we will finalize additional projects to expand our capacity and get critically needed resources to frontline medical providers.”

The Department of Community Health, Department of Public Health, Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, Georgia National Guard, and Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget are working closely with federal agencies, members of the Coronavirus Task Force, the General Assembly, private-sector partners, and community leaders across Georgia to prepare the state’s healthcare network for increased patient surge and medical needs.

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