Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Saturday that he is “cautiously optimistic” after new models were released Friday which indicate the state might already be past the worst of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease.
The model released by Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation indicates that the state may have hit its peak for COVID-19 deaths on April 7, when there were 100 deaths in Georgia in just that one day. It indicated that hospital resource usage may have peaked this past Wednesday, when 1,358 beds were needed.
The forecasts call for both deaths and hospital resource usage to decline from here on out.
“This development is great news for our state, and we are currently reviewing related data and models for verification,” Kemp. “We are cautiously optimistic and deeply grateful to all of the frontline workers, community leaders, and Georgians who keep fighting this battle with us.”
While the models may seem encouraging, there are some caveats in the report. Although the number of deaths on any single day may have already peaked, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is projecting Georgia’s COVID-19 death total will reach 1,369 deaths by Aug. 4.
The report also indicates Georgians may need to be prepared to continue efforts already taken to contain COVID-19 for a while longer. The institute suggested social distancing will have to continue until June 15, and that if could begin to be relaxed after that if certain steps are taken.
Those steps include continuing to limit the size of gatherings and maintaining testing, contact tracing and isolation efforts.
“In preparing for our next measured step forward, we are following the data and advice of public health officials,” Kemp said. “Soon, we will outline when and how Georgians can safely return to work and normal activities. For the health and well-being of all Georgians, please continue to use social distancing and regular sanitation.
“Stay the course as we develop a statewide plan for fully reopening Georgia’s economy. We are in this fight together, and we will emerge stronger.”
The report can be viewed at covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/georgia.