COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp made a stop in Columbus Wednesday.
He visited Global Payments and High Performance Product Engineering (HPPE) where he talked about reopening the Peach State’s economy while battling COVID-19.
Kemp visited HPPE where they started making hand sanitizer after the governor’s call out several weeks ago for Georgia companies to manufacture products to help the state and country.
“We have to continue to fight the two battles now, the battle against the virus and the battle to reopen our state," Kemp said.
Kemp said Georgians should continue following the guidelines from public health officials as we battle the virus in the midst of reopening the state’s economy.
“Continue to drop the numbers down where we can continue to slowly and methodically reopen our economy. That’s exactly what we did when we went into the pandemic and that’s what we’re going to continue to do as we come out of it. But we have to get people back to work. We cannot continue to survive as a state and a country sheltering in place," Kemp said.
Kemp urges Georgians to keep following safety guidelines as the economy continues to reopen, but said he also wants to let Georgians known that it’s safe to go back to hospitals.
“Do not delay medical procedures that you need. I have really been talking about this for the last two or three weeks. I have become very concerned that a lot of people, because of being afraid of the COVID-19 virus, they’re not going to get screenings at their doctor’s office. They’re not going to get procedures that they need to have done,” he said.
He said it’s never been their goal to keep the economy shut down until the virus is gone.
“If the virus comes back, I don’t see us shutting our economy down anymore. We’ve got to figure out how to live the virus. And there’s some very smart people that are doing that every single day in government, in the private sector, in our school systems, and we’re going to figure that out. That’s where we are now, but we’re definitely not at the point where the virus is in the rear view mirror,” the governor said.
Kemp said they’re following what is happening on the ground in Georgia in hospitals, nursing homes, and testing sites.
“What phase it is or where we’re moving, I don’t know. To me that’s not as important as us continuing to take measured steps to reopen our economy. We have some businesses that are still ordered shut. I want to get them back open, but I want to be able to do that in a safe way. That is what I’m committed to doing," Kemp explained.
HPPE said it’s made about 200,000 gallons of hand sanitizer during the pandemic, which is being sold across the country. Kemp also stopped by Global Solutions and was very complimentary about the safety precautions they’re taking.