Governor Brian Kemp’s Shelter-in-Place Order that began on April 3 was due to expire at midnight April 30. He said last Monday that he would be giving further guidance on what mandatory social restrictions would remain in place. Governor Kemp signed the Executive Order today (April 30) and issued the following statement in a press release:
Tonight at 11:59 PM, the statewide shelter in place order for most Georgians will expire. However, moving forward, I am urging Georgians to continue to stay home whenever possible. I want to thank the people of our great state who heeded public health advice, afforded us time to bolster our healthcare infrastructure, and flattened the curve. We were successful in these efforts, but the fight is far from over.
In accordance with our executive orders, businesses across the Peach State must continue to operate with strict social distancing and sanitation rules to keep customers and employees safe through May 13, 2020. Those rules vary by business type for a measured, health-driven approach.
The health and well-being of Georgians are my top priorities, and my decisions are based on data and advice from health officials. I will do what is necessary to protect the lives – and livelihoods – of our people. I will formally extend our public health state of emergency through June 12, 2020 to continue enhanced testing across Georgia, ramp up contact tracing, and maintain effective emergency response operations in every region.
To protect vulnerable populations, I will sign an order today requiring medically fragile and elderly Georgians to continue to shelter in place through June 12, 2020. In addition, I will order long-term care facilities – including nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living facilities, and similar community living homes – to utilize enhanced infection control protocols, ensure safer living conditions, and protect residents and staff from coronavirus exposure.
Together, we will defeat this virus and emerge stronger. Thank you, and God Bless.”
The governor also produced a video for Georgians to watch and be informed on the changes. Also, in a tweet accompanying the video, the governor made the following statement: “Today we are taking another measured step to protect the lives – and livelihoods – of all Georgians. We will continue to work around the clock to follow the data, heed the advice of public health officials, and keep Georgia families safe.”
From day one, Governor Kemp has maintained a balance in protecting Georgians while simultaneously allowing citizens to have the freedoms our constitution guarantees. Last Monday, he began the discussion and progress toward reopening our state following the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.
While there are guidelines given for many businesses to re-open, it should be noted that bars, nightclubs, public swimming pools, live performance venues, and operators of amusement park rides will remain closed for this time. Stipulations regarding social distancing for gatherings of more than 10 people are the same as before. There has to be at least six feet between each person in a single location gathering. Recognize also, that there are more specific regulations for certain business such as restaurants, salons and barber shops.
Cody Hall, the press secretary for the governor, confirmed that regulations and guidelines regarding churches have not changed with this new executive order. Churches, as always, are free to meet as long as the proper social distancing requirements are met. Also click here to see further instructions to help with futures plans of reopening.
I know all of us have been praying for the day when we could begin to put this virus behind us. It may not be over, but we can thank the Lord we are heading in that direction! Please feel free to contact me or any of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board staff if we can be of any further service to you and your congregation.