In this file photo, Gov. Brian Kemp delivers an update on coronavirus in Georgia.
Caption
In this file photo, Gov. Brian Kemp delivers an update on coronavirus in Georgia.

Gov. Brian Kemp has signed a new executive order that extends health and safety precautions for reopened businesses through the end of May while state officials seek to ramp up contact tracing for those who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

The 30-page order keeps bars, nightclubs and live music venues closed until the end of the month, while strongly encouraging Georgians to wear a face covering if they choose to go out in public.

The shelter-in-place order for those deemed “medically fragile,” such as those with chronic illness or are 65 years of age are older, continues until June 12.

In the updated guidance, groups of up to 10 are now allowed for in-person dining at restaurants and the maximum capacity is now 10 people per 300 square feet.

Restaurants, barbershops and other businesses must continue to follow dozens of precautions and changes, including screening workers, adding physical barriers where possible and increasing sanitation protocols.

At a Tuesday press conference, the governor said the new guidance comes as data suggest the severity of COVID-19 has plateaued.

“Today I've issued a new executive order to extend several provisions clarifying existing guidelines for certain businesses and providing guidance to other operators in our state,” he said. “This order is issued as COVID-19 hospitalizations, ventilator use and percentage of positive cases continues to drop.”

Meanwhile, Kemp also announced the "Healthy Georgia Collaborative" tool that the Georgia Department of Public Health is using to help supplement its eventual goal of having 1,000 contact tracers to track the virus.

"Residents who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by trained public health staff who will work with that individual to recall anyone they might have had close contact with while infectious," Kemp said. "Those contacts will then be interviewed by the Department of Public Health to help us map and isolate the spread of COVID-19."

Kemp also said that at this time, there will be no plans for overnight summer camps to open, but there would be “guardrails” released soon that could guide plans for summer day camps to reopen.  

As of noon Tuesday, Georgia has tested nearly 2.5% of its 10.6 million residents for COVID-19, with more than 34,000 positive cases in all 159 counties. At least 1,461 people have died.

READ: Gov. Kemp’s latest executive order