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Georgia hospitals brimming with patients seek more oxygen

COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are on the cusp of surpassing January peaks in Georgia.
COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are on the cusp of surpassing January peaks in Georgia.(kauz)
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 4:55 AM EDT
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ATLANTA (AP) — COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are on the cusp of surpassing January peaks in Georgia.

Hospitals are worried that the delta variant of the respiratory illness threatens to suck them dry of medical oxygen, a key treatment for people struggling to breathe.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order calling up as many as another 1,500 National Guard soldiers to help short-staffed hospitals with nonmedical jobs. That’s on top of the 1,000 previously authorized. Kemp also says teachers and state employees insured by the state health plan will qualify for a cash incentive to get vaccinated.

Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey says hospital emergency rooms are overrun by people seeking COVID-19 tests.

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