GAINESVILLE, Ga. (CBS46) -- Georgia Governor Brian Kemp says Hall County has emerged as a new hot spot for COVID-19 cases.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, as of Wednesday, 1,882 cases have been reported so far in Hall County. Twenty seven people have died from COVID-19, according to the department's website. 

The Latino population is hardest hit.

“We’ve done a lot of testing in the community particularly in the Latino community,” said the president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System Carol Burrell.

Many of the county's poultry plants are packed with Spanish-speaking employees. That's why Burrell has reached out to the Hispanic Alliance of Georgia and Poultry Federation to help flatten the curve.

“Not only what they need to do with their employees at work, but how to protect them," said Burrell, "what the employees need to do when they get home outside of that workforce.”

Companies like Tyson Foods indicated they are taking extra steps to protect employees. Measures include using infrared thermometers to check employees' temperatures.

The state is sending a mobile medical unit to Gainesville capable of housing COVID-19 patients as well as 100 doctors, nurses and other staff members to fill gaps caused by illnesses among staff members.

"They’re being stressed pretty hard up there at the moment,” Kemp said while touring a medical facility in Albany, Georgia on Tuesday.

“We are providing as many resources as we can trying to help get additional staff to critical care nurses to help give them some time away,” added Burrell.

The temporary mobile units will add about 91 beds between the hospital system's four campuses.

“The mobile unit is definitely going to help us manage that and keep patients here locally for as much as we can,” Burrell said.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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