ATLANTA—Today, Gov. Brian Kemp signed Executive Order 4.30.20.01, lifting his shelter-in-place order throughout Georgia as he announced the re-opening of more businesses. The new executive order take effect on Friday, May 1.
On Friday, malls and other stores will be added to the list of sectors that the governor began reopening on April 24 and on April 27 across the Peach State.
Kemp has received both criticism and praise in his attempt to jumpstart the economy. While proponents have thanked Kemp for putting people back to work, with critics charge that more people will be exposed to COVID-19 and Georgia’s death toll will rise.
As of April 30, 10:25 p.m., Georgia had 26,276 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,132 deaths, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The Georgia Coalition 2 Save Lives staged a mock funeral processional today at the Georgia Capitol in protest of the governor’s decision. A motorcade that includedhearses circled the Capitol around 3:30 p.m. The processional began at Carl Williams Funeral Home on Larkin Street, S.W., Atlanta.
Kemp issued the following statement:
“Tonight at 11:59 PM, 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.
“The health and well-being of Georgians are my top priorities, and my decisions are based on data and advice from health officials. I will do what is necessary to protect the lives – and livelihoods – of our people. 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.
“Together, we will defeat this virus and emerge stronger. Thank you, and God Bless.”