Effective from Friday, April 3 until April 13, the entire state of Georgia is ordered by Governor Brian Kemp to practice social distancing and sanitation and to shelter-in-place.
The order reads, "all residents and visitors of the State of Georgia shall practice social distancing and sanitation in accordance with this Order and guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
This order replaces all other orders from cities and counties who have implemented stay-at-home orders or curfews over the past two weeks. This is all to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. There are more than 5,000 confirmed cases and only a small amount of tests results have been released in Georgia.
The order restricts everything from visits to private homes to how businesses operate.
Whether it is classified as essential or not, the order reads, “no business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, organization, or county or municipal government shall allow more than ten (10) persons to be gathered at a single location if such gathering requires persons to stand or to be seated within six (6) feet of any other person.”
It also says that businesses not considered “critical infrastructure” should operate at a minimum and put in extra measures to maintain a six-foot social distance and proper sanitation for workers and customers. The order gives specific guidelines.
“All businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations, or organizations that are not Critical Infrastructure shall only engage in Minimum Basic Operations as defined in this Order during the effective dates of this Order. Such entities shall also implement measures which mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19.”
Everyone in the state is ordered to shelter in place in their residences unless they are:
Conducting or participating in essential services
Performing necessary travel
Are engaged in the performance of, or travel to and from, the performance of minimum basic operations for a business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, or organization not classified as Critical Infrastructure
Are part of the workforce for Critical Infrastructure and are actively engaged in the performance of, or travel to and from, their respective employment.
The federal government defines what classifies as “critical infrastructure in this document.
The order lays out what are considered essential services:
Obtaining necessary supplies and services for family or household members, such as food and supplies for household consumption and use, medical supplies or medication, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence. Preference should be given to online ordering, home delivery, and curbside pick-up services wherever possible as opposed to in-store shopping.
Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of family or household members, such as seeking medical, behavioral health, or emergency services.
Engaging in outdoor exercise activities so long as a minimum distance of six (6) feet is maintained during such activities between all persons who are not occupants of the same household or residence.
The order closes several categories of businesses:
gyms, fitness centers
live performance venues
operators of amusement rides
body art studios
persons licensed to practice massage therapy
businesses which possess a license to operate as or otherwise meet the definition of "bar"
In this order, Governor Kemp authorized the Department of Public Health, the Department of Public Safety and basically any other state officer the governor or Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security deputizes to enforce the business restrictions. Those officers are expected to give the “business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, or organization not in compliance” notice before mandating the closure, according to the order.
The Georgia National Guard and the Department of Public Safety are also requested to “assist” in enforcing the order.
Violators will face a misdemeanor, according to the order.
"That pursuant to Code Section 38-3-7, any person who violates this Order shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Officials enforcing this Order should take reasonable steps to provide notice prior to issuing a citation or making an arrest,” the order reads.
Kemp signed the order at 3:12 p.m. on Thursday April 2. It goes into effect beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday,April 3 and will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Monday April 13.
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