Gov. Kemp renews state of emergency and renews ban on cities requiring masks
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Atlanta, GA — Gov. Brian Kemp has extended the state’s public health state of emergency and has signed a new order stating that cities may not adopt their own mask ordinances.
But that hasn’t stopped cities from moving ahead with them. Decatur kept and amended its ordinance, as did Atlanta, which triggered a lawsuit against that city. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, that lawsuit was ordered into mediation but hasn’t been resolved.
The state of Georgia as of July 31 has 186,352 cases confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,752 related deaths.
“The fight against COVID-19 continues, and these executive orders reaffirm our commitment to protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians,” Kemp said in a press release. “As our state ramps up testing, expands hospital surge capacity, and provides staffing, supplies, and resources to cities and counties throughout Georgia, we urge local officials to enforce the rules and restrictions detailed in these orders. When businesses, restaurants, venues, and citizens follow the guidelines carefully crafted by data, science, and the Georgia Department of Public Health, we will take our next measured step forward.”
Kemp also said it’s up to the people, not the government, to keep the pandemic at bay.
“While government plays an important role in fighting this pandemic, the people of our great state will ultimately be the ones who defeat this virus,” he said. “We continue to encourage fellow Georgians to wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash their hands regularly, and follow public health guidance. Together, we will flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia.”
The public health state of emergency order has been extended from July 31 to 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 10.
“The Public Health State of Emergency allows for enhanced coordination across government and the private sector for supply procurement, comprehensive testing, and healthcare capacity,” the press release from Kemp’s office says. “By renewing the applicability of existing language, Executive Order 07.31.20.02 continues to require social distancing, bans gatherings of more than fifty people unless there [are] six feet between each person, outlines mandatory criteria for businesses, and requires sheltering in place for those living in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile, among other provisions. The order runs through 11:59 PM on August 15, 2020.”
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