ATLANTA—Gov. Brian P. Kemp, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) urge all Georgians to continue to follow safe daily habits to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and keep the virus from spreading. Wear a face covering in public settings, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently.
The caution from state officials follows the governor’s decision to lift the helter in place order and reopen even more businesses adding malls and retail stores to the list on Friday, May 1. Salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, fitness centers and bowling alleys were among the businesses Kemp reopened on April 24, followed by restaurants and movie theaters on April 27.
Now that the economy is reopened, Kemp and the state’s top health officials are stressing that a cloth face covering should be worn when they are in places where social distancing may be difficult, such as shopping, dining or riding public transportation and especially in areas of widespread community transmission of COVID-19. Cloth face coverings help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may be infected and not know it from transmitting it to others, health officials say.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has instructions on how to make a low-cost cloth face covering. Cloth face coverings should allow for breathing without restriction, cover the nose and mouth, and be laundered and machine dried after use. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under the age of two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The use of cloth face coverings does not take the place of social distancing. Stay at least six feet from other people, do not gather in groups, stay out of crowded places, and avoid mass gatherings.
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer-at least 60% alcohol – when soap and water are not readily available. Practice good health hygiene, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
For more information about COVID-19, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirusor https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.