The coronavirus pandemic is still going on in the United States, but the state of Georgia is looking to reopen some business on Friday. During a news conference on Monday, Georgia governor Brian Kemp announced that gyms, hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, and bowling alleys will be allowed to reopen at the end of the week despite the number of coronavirus cases continue to increase. On Twitter, Kemp explained why he made the move.
"Due to favorable data & more testing, gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians, their respective schools & massage therapists can reopen Friday, April 24 with Minimum Basic Operations," Kemp wrote. The decision to reopen bowling alleys is unique, especially with no professional bowling going on in the country. On March 17, the Professional Bowling Association announced all events have been postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic.
"This is a completely unforeseen, unprecedented issue of global concern," PBA CEO Ollie Edison said in a statement. "The PBA greatly appreciates the understanding and cooperation of its players, business partners, tournament hosts and all other parties impacted as we try to do our part in keeping everyone as safe as we can."
Kemp's decision has drawn a lot of backlash. Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who lost to Kemp in a close election in 2018, wrote on Twitter: "Georgia: 14th highest infection/7th lowest testing rate; less econ resilient & 1000s of low-wage workers already forced to risk their lives to make a living. Weakened healthcare w/closed rural hospitals, no Medicaid expansion & a doctor shortage. Reopen? Dangerously incompetent."
Atlanta mayor Keisha Bottoms went to CNN and said she doesn't understand the move by Kemp. She said on Monday evening: "I have a great working relationship with our governor but I did not speak with him before he made this announcement. So we really are at a loss and I am concerned as a mother and as the mayor of our capital city."
Georgia is not the only state to reopen business during the pandemic. Tennessee and South Carolina look to get people back to work by next week, despite seeing no declines in COVD-19 cases. Medical experts have warned the states that opening business now could lead to more health issues down the road.