ATLANTA — The state officials overseeing Georgia’s COVID-19 response are preparing to convert a portion of the Georgia World Congress Center into a hospital.
Gov. Brian Kemp announced Sunday that the state has entered into a contract with PAE, a Virginia-based defense and government services contractor, to build a 200-bed alternative care at the GWCC to house hospitalized coronavirus patients if needed. The facility will be ready within one week, in time to meet the projected peak for COVID-19 in Georgia of April 26.
“Across Georgia, we have partnered with existing health care infrastructure to greatly expand our surge capacity,” Kemp said Sunday in a prepared statement. “Now, we have a dedicated team building out a temporary facility at the Georgia World Congress Center for potential COVID-19 patient surge. We are working around the clock to prepare for future needs and ensure the health and well-being of our state.”
State agencies involved in the project include the state Department of Public Health, Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, the Department of Community Health and the Georgia National Guard. Nearby Grady Memorial Hospital will be assisting in the effort.
The GWCC facility will be for those with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19, non-ICU patients without the need for a ventilator.
The governor’s announcement came as the number of Georgians who have tested positive for coronavirus rose to 12,452. As of noon Sunday, 433 patients had died from the virus.