Kemp Closes Bars, Limits Gatherings, Orders 'Medically Fragile' To Shelter In Place
Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday several statewide restrictions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, ordering "medically fragile" Georgians to shelter in place for two weeks while closing bars and nightclubs and banning most public gatherings over 10 people.
In a Monday briefing, Kemp also empowered the Georgia Department of Public Health to close businesses or nonprofits that violate the order.
Kemp said the shelter in place order becomes effective noon Tuesday through noon Monday, April 6.
Here's the executive order @GovKemp signed requiring certain people to shelter in place, closing bars and limiting public gatherings to no more than 10 people in certain circumstances from noon March 24 to April 6. #gapol https://t.co/YoXDvJbIEW pic.twitter.com/dozCgq4obh— stephen fowler // voting+georgia politics (@stphnfwlr) March 23, 2020
"At a minimum this order for isolation, quarantine or shelter in place covers those who are living in long-term care facilities, have chronic lung disease, are undergoing cancer treatment, have a positive COVID-19 test, are suspected to have COVID-19 because of their symptoms and exposure, or have exposed to someone who has COVID-19," Kemp said.
The order also gives DPH the power to promulgate rules for quarantine and isolation for those affected by the order.
Here's a March 22 order from the GA Dept. of Public Health outlining isolation/quarantine protocols for those that have tested positive, are suspected to test positive or been around someone with COVID-19. #gapol
While other states have forced restaurants and bars to close insiding dining rooms, asked reidents to shelter in place and banned public gatherings above a certain size, Georgia's measure is less restrictive. Only bars and nightclubs will be closed, and the order also prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people – unless they can maintain six feet of distance between people at all times.
Until the order was signed this evening, Georgia was one of two Southern states that had not enacted enact statewide restrictions on public gatherings or businesses.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.