The Department of Public Health and district offices are encouraging all Georgians to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not people exhibit symptoms, Gov. Brian Kemp said during a press conference Thursday.
Kemp said the testing capacity has increased where more than 60 testing sites have a surplus of tests. Kemp said the next step is for Georgia to increase lab capacity for testing. Ventilator use has also gone down, Kemp said.
Kemp applauded most Georgians for “taking this pandemic seriously, wearing masks, practicing social distancing and following the CDC guidelines” after the shelter-in-place order expired last Thursday.
Yet social media scenes from Piedmont Park on May 2 showed people crowding the park, many without masks, to watch the Air Force Thunderbirds fly over Atlanta.
Georgia has 31,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 9 p.m. Thursday, according to the DPH.
Kemp also addressed the death of Ahmaud Arbery. Arbery was shot to death by former police officer Gregory McMichael while on a run in Brunswick, Georgia. Arbery died on Feb. 23. Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault on Thursday, according to Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
A video that appears to show his death surfaced this week and reignited the conversation around his death. Kemp said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds is now investigating the case.
“It is absolutely horrific, and Georgians deserve answers,” Kemp said.