On Friday, a day when Georgia lost 81 lives to coronavirus and saw 4,149 new cases, 386 new hospitalizations and 60 new ICU admissions, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order on COVID-19 was set to expire at 11:59 p.m.
Kemp extended the order through August 15 Friday night, keeping it largely unchanged despite a growing number of deaths, ICU admissions and hospitalizations. Friday morning, Kemp announced the state would begin using surge beds at the makeshift hospital at the Georgia World Congress Center on Monday.
Kemp’s order bans gatherings of more than 50 people and requires social distancing, but also bans local governments from requiring masks or limiting activities any further than the statewide order.
The medically fragile are still required to shelter in place and regulations that were placed on businesses in July are still in effect for August.
Kemp explains the extension without any additional requirements or mandates is due to his faith in Georgians and not government to fight coronavirus.
“While government plays an important role in fighting this pandemic, the people of our great state will ultimately be the ones who defeat this virus. We continue to encourage fellow Georgians to wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash their hands regularly, and follow public health guidance. Together, we will flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia.”
Despite not being under an active lockdown, the state is still under a state of emergency, which Kemp also extended Friday.
The state of emergency order has been extended through Sept. 10. The Public Health State of Emergency allows for enhanced coordination across government and the private sector for supply procurement, comprehensive testing, and healthcare capacity.