COBB COUNTY, Ga. — In early 2020, hospitals and governments struggled to get critical supplies to treat patients and keep business open.
It’s a lesson Cobb County learned from and they decided to use some of their $2.4 million in CARES money to fix up a warehouse and keep a half-year reserve of supplies.
“PPE, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, cleaning disinfectant, wipes, respirators," said the county's director of Emergency Management, Cassie Mazloom.
The idea was to have enough supplies for first responders, county employees, and even hospitals in the event of a surge in cases. And that time is now.
Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta is seeing 35% of patients with COVID-19 and the ICU is 90 percent full, which is 5 to 10% above normal.
It’s one of the hospitals slated to get help from the National Guard at the request of Governor Brian Kemp. The hospital itself is also doing some asking.
“I have taken some requests in for the hospitals that I’ve sent to the state in terms of ventilators and staffing needs," explained Mazloom.
As for all of those supplies, the county’s sending some out to help deal with the Delta variant.
“Say there’s a funeral home or somewhere that needs PPE to keep operations going, then we have been able to help," Mazloom said.
If things were to get worse, the county could also help the hospitals with extra PPE, although the county’s hoping it doesn’t come to that.
The county also used some of the CARE money to buy equipment for their vaccine sites, cots, hygiene kits and temporary tent shelters, in case of a natural disaster.
"Just because we're in a pandemic, doesn't mean we can't have a tornado or hurricane, so we want to be prepared for that," Mazloom said.
The National Guard is expected to deploy to the Marietta hospital on Wednesday, along with several others hospitals across Georgia.