Georgians will have to shelter-in-place a little longer following announcements by Governor Brian Kemp today.
This morning, Gov. Kemp announced that he is extending the public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This afternoon, he followed up by extending the shelter-in-place order until April 30.
So far, 9,901 coronavirus cases have been reported in Georgia, and 362 Georgians have died as a result of COVID-19. According to Gov. Kemp, long-term care facilities have been particularly hard hit.
“The Georgia Department of Public Health has determined that COVID-19 is spreading through nursing homes, inpatient hospice, assisted living communities, personal care homes, intermediate care homes, community living arrangements, and community integration homes,” he said.
As a result, Gov. Kemp has signed a new executive order to dramatically increase access to resources to these facilities to mitigate exposure, and protect the facilities’ residents. The order mandates aggressive infection control measures at long-term care facilities, prohibits visitors and non-essential personnel except in compassionate care situations and cancels all group activities.
Additionally, facilities must implement protocols to screen residents for fever and respiratory symptoms, and employees must be screened before starting a shift. Facilities must also implement universal and correct use of personal protective equipment, and utilize hospital-grade disinfectants for frequent cleaning.
Gov. Kemp also signed an order to suspend short-term vacation rentals across Georgia. No vacation rental is permitted in Georgia starting at midnight through 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 30.
The order does not include hotels, including extended stay hotels, motels or campgrounds. Also exempt are vacation rentals that have been fully paid and executed or agreed to before 12 a.m. on Thursday, April 9. Additionally, the order does not apply to leases for primary places of residence.
While all state, county and local law enforcement are authorized to enforce the order, law enforcement or any other state or local officials are not permitted to evict occupants of a vacation rental.
In his press conference, Gov. Kemp also acknowledged the impact that COVID-19 has had on families, students, farmers and workers across all industries.
He pledged to continue to fight for Georgia’s agriculture industry, seek financial relief solutions for the self-employed and contractors and partner with Superintendent Richard Woods to launch working groups to address issues impacting students.