Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has been on the receiving end of a great deal of criticism after he became one of the first state officials to begin easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Kemp’s relaxation of the Peach State’s pandemic response was panned by critics largely on account of the sort of businesses that the Governor singled out for reopening: Bowling alleys, massage parlors, tattoo studios, nail salons, and barbershops – all of which are practically impossible to practice social distancing within.
Now, on the very day that dine-in restaurants were set to open in Georgia, Kemp is issuing a new “shelter in place” order.
Despite the gradual reopening, Kemp formally extended the public health state of emergency through June 12 and urged people to stay at home as much as possible.
“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,” Kemp said. “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.”
And while Georgians did elect Kemp as Governor, his time may be limited in the role as the city of Atlanta continues to grow, now making up more than half of the entire state’s population. Within a few years it is predicted that this redistribution of political power could make Georgia a swing state.
Many Atlanta area restaurants have publicly resisted Kemp’s allowance to open, stating that they will instead await further clarification on the dangers of COVID-19 from the CDC and other national authorities.
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