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'We'll be ready for whatever comes': Gov. Kemp says state is prepared for any coronavirus outbreak

He said state officials have been in meetings and conference calls "for the last three weeks or so in preparation for the 'what if.'"

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday that the state is ready if any sort of coronavirus outbreak, were to take place.

During a press conference to announce the Georgia Farm Recovery Block Grant Program and a grant program for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Michael, Kemp briefly addressed the issue.

He said state officials have been in meetings and conference calls "for the last three weeks or so in preparation for the 'what if.'"

He said they are thinking far ahead and hoping that the day won't come.

"Hopefully it won't be much, but if it is, we'll be ready to respond," Kemp said. 

He added that he was personally on two conference calls with President Donald Trump's team that included many of the nation's governors and public health officials, as well. 

Kemp praised Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner Kathleen Toomey and said she "is very experienced." He said Toomey has been in communication with all the county-level partners, which he said is where the response comes from. 

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control warned U.S. residents that it was not a question of "if" but "when" the coronavirus would spread to the country. 

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC's director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said the virus, called COVID-19, is "rapidly evolving and spreading" and that as more countries experience the spread of the coronavirus, "successful containment at U.S. borders is becoming problematic." 

She warned U.S citizens and local communities to prepare for "disruption to everyday life" in the case of a pandemic.  

"We'll be ready for whatever comes," Kemp assured.

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