Virus patients to be sent to giant Georgia convention center

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FILE-In this Friday, July 17, 2020 file photo, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a coronavirus briefing at the Capitol, in Atlanta. A judge plans to hear arguments Tuesday, July 28, 2020, on an emergency request by Georgia’s governor to stop Atlanta from enforcing a mandate to wear a mask in public and other restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic while a lawsuit on the issue is pending. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s governor says one of the nation’s largest convention centers will reopen on Monday with “surge beds” to treat COVID-19 patients.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday that the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta will begin receiving patients Monday with 60 beds initially.

It will increase to 120 beds if needed.

Kemp says the beds will provide relief to surrounding healthcare facilities.

Reopening the convention center comes as Georgia hospitals have been voicing concerns about bed space with the surge of cases.

The Georgia World Congress Center bills itself as the fourth-largest convention center in the U.S., according to its website.

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