On a day that saw Georgia’s highest number of newly reported coronavirus cases since May 1, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order lifting more coronavirus pandemic restrictions and allowing conventions in Georgia.
The state of Georgia reported 993 new cases of coronavirus today, the highest number since May 1 when there were 1,232 new cases reported, according to statistics kept by the AJC.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia currently has 54,973 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,375 people have died from the virus.
Kemp’s new executive order loosens restrictions on gatherings, allows conventions, reopens live performance venues as long as social distancing guidelines are followed and ends shelter-in-place for elderly Georgians unless they have pre-existing medical conditions.
Below are the highlights of the new order:
Today Governor Brian P. Kemp signed Executive Order 06.11.20.01 – Empowering a Healthy Georgia. The order addresses ongoing emergency response efforts for fighting the spread of COVID-19. Unless noted otherwise in specific sections, the order goes into effect at 12 a.m. on June 16 and runs through 11:59 p.m. on June 30.
Sports: Effective June 16, professional sports teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by their respective leagues. High school and collegiate teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by their applicable conferences or associations. Amateur sports teams and organizations must follow the criteria for non-critical infrastructure entities outlined in the order.
Sheltering in Place: Effective immediately, residents and visitors of Georgia who are sixty-five years of age or older are no longer required to shelter in place unless they meet any of the following categories:
|▪||Those persons who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, including inpatient hospice, assisted living communities, personal care homes, intermediate care homes, community living arrangements, and community integration homes|
|▪||Those persons who have chronic lung disease|
|▪||Those persons who have moderate to severe asthma|
|▪||Those persons who have severe heart disease|
|▪||Those persons who are immunocompromised|
|▪||Those persons, of any age, with class III or severe obesity|
|▪||Those persons diagnosed with the following underlying medical conditions: diabetes, liver disease, and persons with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis|
Gatherings: Effective June 16, gatherings of more than fifty people are banned unless there is at least six feet between each person. This rule does not apply to critical infrastructure entities, incidental or transitory groupings, or cohabitating individuals.
Drinking and Eating (effective June 16): In restaurants and dining rooms, there is no longer a party maximum for the number of people who can sit together. There is no longer a limit on the number of patrons allowed per square foot. Workers at restaurants, dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, and private reception venues are only required to wear face coverings when they are interacting with patrons. In a bar, now you can have fifty people – up from twenty-five – or thirty-five percent of total listed fire capacity, whichever is greater. For salad bars and buffets, a worker can use cafeteria-style service to serve patrons or the establishment can provide hand sanitizer, install a sneeze guard, enforce social distancing, and regularly replace shared utensils to allow patron self-service.
Overnight Summer Camps (effective June 16): Campers and workers may not attend an overnight summer camp unless they have received a negative COVID-19 test within twelve days – up from seven days – prior to starting camp.
Conventions: Effective July 1, a “convention” may occur if it meets twenty-one specific requirements in addition to the requirements for non-critical infrastructure entities. “Convention” means “an organized event of more than 100 persons that are required to register or obtain a license to gather for a common purpose at a single indoor facility or grouping of indoor facilities for more than four hours and in some cases for more than one day” and “shall include exhibitions, trade shows, conferences, and business retreats.” The term “convention” does not include any regular operation of a business that occurs on property owned or leased for the exclusive operation of such business, nor does the term encompass regular religious services, business meetings, sports competitions, or events categorized by O.C.G.A. § 16-11-173(b)(1)(A).
Live Performance Venues: Effective July 1, a “live performance venue” may reopen for business if it complies with specific criteria based on whether it is designated Tier I, II, or III. There are certain exceptions in the order for drive-in performances; private recording sessions, livestream performances, practices, fanless events, and rehearsals; and non-ticketed or free events. “Live Performance Venue” means “any indoor or outdoor location that requires patrons to purchase a license to attend an event featuring live musical, dramatical, automotive, educational, or any other type of entertainment performed before in-person patrons.” The term does not include restaurants and dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, private reception venues, weddings, drive-in venues, or events held as part of a convention, and the term does not include outdoor recreational fields used for amateur sporting events.
Effective June 16: At indoor movie theaters and cinemas, there is no longer a limit on the number of people who may sit together in a party. Walk-ins are now allowed at body art studios, barber shops, hair salons, their respective schools, massage therapy establishments, and tanning facilities subject to specific requirements.
Mandatory requirements for operating non-critical infrastructure businesses, for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations are extended through the end of the month. Specific requirements for previously closed businesses remain in effect.