Shelter in Place Extended Through April 30, State of Emergency Through May 13

Over 10,000 Georgians have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 350 people have died. 

Amanda Cooper
April 08, 2020 - 7:07 pm
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp at the 2020 State MLK Service

(Photo Credit: Amanda Cooper/RADIO.COM)

Statewide over 10,000 Georgians have tested positive for the new COVID-19 coronavirus, and more than 350 people have died. 

To help flatten the curve, during a state coronavirus update, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced today that he extended his shelter-in-place order through April 30. Earlier in a statement, Kemp extended the state's public health emergency declaration through mid-May. The extension gives Kemp broad powers to create new laws and mandates and authorizes state officials to enforce the laws without a special session bringing lawmakers back to the Capitol. In a statement, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston supported the order. 

Included in the state update, Kemp also outlined a new executive order to protect what he calls "the state's most vulnerable citizens." This week, ten patients in Athens died in the local hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 at PruittHealth-Grandview. This month, Governor Kemp and the Georgia National Guard Adjutant Gen. Tom Carden activated over 100 guardsmen to long term care assisted living facility and nursing home in implementing infection control protocols and enhanced sanitation methods to reduce the spreading of the virus. 

The new guidelines require elderly care facilities to increase cleaning efforts to hospital standards. It also requires the facilities to residents to have in-room dining services, to suspend group activities and mandates the screening of residents and employees for symptoms. Residents with respiratory issues are to be isolated from others and only seen by designated nurses. Most importantly, Nurses and employees are required to self-quarantine for 14 days after possible exposure to coronavirus. To help assist with the coronavirus response, the governor activated an additional 1,000 National Guard members bringing the total of volunteer service members now to 3,000.

The Republican governor has received harsh criticism for reopening Georgia's beaches and keeping state parks open. One additional order Kemp announced during his update was the banning of short-term vacation rentals through April 30. He said it would avoid Georgia from becoming a "destination spot" during the outbreak. Beginning Thursday, April 9, at noon, no new reservations can be made until April 30. The ban does not include hotels, motels, or campgrounds. It does not give authority to any law-enforcement official to dispossess or evict occupants of a vacation rental from the property.

Watch the entire April 8, 2020, State Coronavirus Update: