For most Georgians, the shelter-in-place mandate from the governor’s office will expire at midnight. But for those 65 and older, who have lung, cardiac or obesity issues as well as diabetes, kidney ailments and liver disease, you’re under new restrictions through June 12. Included in that group: people living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.
That’s nearly 14 percent of the state’s population or about 1.5 million residents now under shelter-in-place for another six weeks.
The announce ends a bizarre week in Georgia where Gov. Brian Kemp first lifted closure of hair salons, tattoo parlors and bowling alleys followed by dine-in restaurants on Monday. Social distancing and other precautions remain in place, at least through May 13 on those businesses.
As of 3 p.m. Thursday, Georgia’s deaths attributed to coronavirus was at 1,120 people (average age 75) with 26,515 confirmed cases and 5,156 hospitalizations. Northwest Georgia’s death toll from early March until midday Thursday: 55.
Kemp’s statement comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that states reopening their economies “can’t just leap over things” that would potentially allow the coronavirus to rebound. In an interview on NBC’s “TODAY” show, Savannah Guthrie asked Fauci whether the states that are beginning to reopen have the capability to do contact tracing and Fauci responded that while he can’t go through a list of each of them, he urged those that don’t have that capability to “go very slowly.”
A Facebook poll conducted by Hometown Headlines on Thursday had 1,407 responses as of 3 p.m. Of those, 58.8% favored extending the shelter-in-place order whil 41.2% favored letting it expire tonight. Click latest results.
Outtakes from the media release:
Gov. Brian P. Kemp has signed Executive Order 4.30.20.01 and issued the following statement:
“Tonight at 11:59 p.m., the statewide shelter-in-place order for most Georgians will expire. However, moving forward, I am urging Georgians to continue to stay home whenever possible. I want to thank the people of our great state who heeded public health advice, afforded us time to bolster our healthcare infrastructure, and flattened the curve. We were successful in these efforts, but the fight is far from over.
“In accordance with our executive orders, businesses across the Peach State must continue to operate with strict social distancing and sanitation rules to keep customers and employees safe through May 13, 2020. Those rules vary by business type for a measured, health-driven approach.
“I will formally extend our public health state of emergency through June 12, 2020, to continue enhanced testing across Georgia, ramp up contact tracing, and maintain effective emergency response operations in every region.
“To protect vulnerable populations, I will sign an order today requiring medically fragile and elderly Georgians to continue to shelter in place through June 12, 2020. In addition, I will order long-term care facilities – including nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living facilities, and similar community living homes – to utilize enhanced infection control protocols, ensure safer living conditions, and protect residents and staff from coronavirus exposure.”