It has been reported that Georgia officials have confirmed 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus, in just the past 24 hours since select reopening measures began. This brings the state's total number of infections to over 27,000. Per AJC, COVID-19 has been responsible for the deaths of at least 1,140 Georgians. Since midday Thursday, the state's health department was able to verify that it has caused an additional 33 deaths.
State Gov. Brian Kemp has urged all residents to maintain social distancing, asking that they stay home as much as possible. "While the current shelter in place order will expire tonight at 11:59 PM for most Georgians, the elderly and medically fragile will still be required to shelter in place through June 12," he wrote in a tweet on Thursday, followed subsequently by another. "I encourage all Georgians to continue to maintain social distancing, limit their travel, and use best practices. Gatherings of more than 10 people will not be allowed unless it is possible to maintain 6 feet of distance."
Today we are taking another measured step to protect the lives - and livelihoods - of all Georgians. We will continue to work around the clock to follow the data, heed the advice of public health officials, and keep Georgia families safe. pic.twitter.com/kPFjAfDApW— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 30, 2020
On Friday, Kemp issued a series of tweets detailing other requirements for the state's reopening measures. "In accordance with our executive orders, certain businesses across Georgia may resume limited operations, subject to specific, mandatory criteria. Bars, night clubs, amusement parks, live performances venues, and public pools remain closed at this time," Kemp explained. "Until 11:59 PM on May 13, all retail businesses - including food establishments and retail/wholesale grocers - must meet certain minimum criteria to open." He added that "all non-critical infrastructure businesses that continue in-person operations shall meet the following minimum criteria to be open."
The response to Kemp's directives have been quite mixed on social media, with some users in support of the guidelines and others criticizing them. "Didn't realize you owned each and every one of these businesses, and therefore have the authority to make these calls... The PEOPLE will decide when to start patronizing each business. We don't need or want your input. We still have a Constitution and individual rights!" wrote one person. Another referred to Kemp as "an excellent example," writing, "Personally @GovMikeDeWine needs to be following your example on how to reopen places in Ohio safely. He is too afraid Face screaming in fear to let the small business owners take the lead. Complete lack of faith in them. Professional babysitter is more like it."