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Emory expert warns point of 'no return' approaching for Georgia, urges Kemp to shut down state

'To prevent a catastrophe in the healthcare system due to #COVID19 we need for him to shut down GA now.'

ATLANTA — Louisiana and Ohio are the latest states turning to mandatory quarantines and shutdowns as their way of trying to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp hasn’t gone that far - even as some cities, including Atlanta, have. But a prominent Georgia doctor is calling the governor to take action quickly.

Doctor Carlos Del Rio is an executive associate dean for Emory at Grady. And, based on scientific models and the rise in cases, Dr. Del Rio tweeted a plea to Governor Kemp.

Del Rio, an expert in pandemics and chair of the global health department at Emory University, tweeted to Kemp that:

“We need @GovKemp to act now, the point of ‘no return’ for GA is rapidly closing. To prevent a catastrophe in the healthcare system due to #COVID19 we need for him to shut down GA now.”

In his tweet, he refers to this model on COVIDActNow.org, a website where scientists and engineers have partnered with health officials and political leaders.

The model on the website predicts that Tuesday will be the “point of no return” for Georgia when hospitals will be overwhelmed with positive cases of COVID-19.

“We are in a critical time to make interventions and to try to contain the spread,” Del Rio said. “And, if we don’t do them today, cases are going to continue to grow at a very rapid pace.”

That’s what Dr. Del Rio said last week during a Facebook Live question and answer session for Emory University. In that Q&A, he suggested Georgia should follow the French government’s example in trying to slow the spread.

“The French government has put the whole city of Paris in a lockdown for 45 days,” he said. “So, we need to do this. We should not wait until things have gone off the rails to do something.”

In a press conference last Thursday, Gov Kemp said he’s not implementing a statewide quarantine or shutdown because local governments have heeded advice from the state level.

“I continue to call on locals to take the appropriate action for communities,” Kemp said.

Some local cities have closed bars and restaurants - including Atlanta and Brookhaven.

A spokesperson for Brian Kemp regarding Dr. Del Rio’s statements which read:

“We are working closely with federal, state, and local medical and emergency management officials to take appropriate action for our state.  We will continue to operate with transparency and provide updates to the public on what we are doing to keep Georgians safe and healthy.”

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