Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency in Fulton County on Friday to help relieve the increased patient loads at Atlanta-area hospitals after Grady Hospital was put on "diversion" status due to a pipe burst last Saturday.
The hospital began total diversion of ambulance-driven patients on December 7 with partial diversion still in place today.
Due to increased patient load, surrounding metro-Atlanta hospitals are now "experiencing capacity challenges," the governor said.
In order to ensure residents and visitors have access to adequate trauma centers, Kemp is requesting assistance and says that "it is necessary to provide for the public’s safety."
Grady officials said it could take up to three months for the repairs to be complete.
Grady hospital said in a statement that they began accepting “trauma, stroke, and burn patients only” Friday morning.
“We continue to make great progress with repairs following the break of a 24-inch water pipe Saturday afternoon. Repairs to areas of the hospital impacted by the pipe break are ongoing,” the statement says. A visitation restriction at the hospital has been lifted, and the hospital says it is no longer transferring patients because of the flooding.
The order is effective for 30 days.
Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency Director Homer Bryson said the order allows state resources and assets to move faster and move those resources around, as needed.
Part of this order will include bringing in a 30-bed mobile hospital in from North Carolina in order to expand the capacity.
Bryson said the agencies are coordinating resources to assure the needs for emergency patients are met and that there is minimal disruption.