The president said he failed to follow the task force’s recommendations “is allowing the virus to spread, prolong and exacerbate the state-facing public health crisis.”
“I urge you to act quickly and order science-based public health measures,” Clyburn wrote.
The governor’s office had no immediate comments Wednesday and said it had not yet received the letter.
Clyburn also sent letters to Republican governors of Florida, Oklahoma and Tennessee, as well as Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator.
Georgia is among 21
states with a serious enough outbreak to be placed in the “red zone,” according to a federal report obtained by The New York Times. Distributed to state officials by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the report recommends that officials in Georgia “use a mandate of masks in current and evolving hotspots – optimally a mandate in the state. “
Kemp, who has worn masks but is not needed, argues that cities and counties should not be enforced by enforcing rules that are more or less restrictive than his own, and that he is struggling the city of Atlanta in court on his mandate mask and other measures focused on combating the spread of COVID-19.
In the days leading up to the Fourth of July holiday weekend, more than 1,400 medical professionals signed a letter urging Kemp to close bars and nightclubs, give them masks and allow local governments to adopt stricter restrictions. .
Public health experts warned that Kemp was virtually inviting a new wave of infections in April when it announced plans to reopen the economy, and experts doubted the state had effective infrastructure to test people. , tracks contacts and isolates the sick if a new wave is created.
“Everything we’ve seen has failed to put that infrastructure in place,” Dr. Harry J. Heiman, a clinical associate professor at Georgia State University School of Public Health, said in an earlier interview. this month. “But for that infrastructure to be effective we have to step back and re-evaluate openness.”
Georgia reached about 90,000 cases on July 3, just over four months after reporting its first confirmed case. Total state cases nearly doubled in the 26 days since that, to 178,323.
On Wednesday, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported more than 3,000 new confirmed cases of coronavirus. The state also reported 79 new deaths attributed to the virus, amounting to 3,642 since the onset of the pandemic.
Georgia was one of the last states to order residents to hide and one of the most aggressive states to reopen, although state health officials acknowledged that Georgia did not fully meet the criteria. of the White House housing in April and May when the state began to dissolve. its restrictions.
Georgia is among 35 rising states or territories spread over the past 14 days, according to a New York Times analysis.
The task force report recommends Georgia close to bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues, limiting indoor dining in restaurants to less than 25% of capacity. The document also recommends a mandate for the public to wear masks in coronavirus hot spots and “optimally” in the state.
Other recommendations include strengthening testing and contact tracing, expanding staff and capabilities in laboratories to reduce turnaround times for test results, and testing ‘weekly on workers and residents in long-term care facilities.
Testing has grown in Georgia, but not fast enough to keep up with demand. Residents complain of long waits for scheduling appointments, long lines at testing centers and a two-week delay for results.
Results that are a week or more old, experts say, hamper efforts such as contact tracking needed to quickly identify and isolate outbreaks. And when patients only have to wait a day for a test and a week or longer for an outcome, experts say, it only increases the likelihood of transmission.
Earlier this month, Kemp announced that the state has tapped a North Carolina company to provide testing supplies and lab capacity to process 10,000 test kits a day. The company, Mako Medical, should start resuming its work soon, DPH spokeswoman said.