Apr 30, 2020 - Health

Kemp to lift Georgia's shelter-in-place order at midnight

Brian Kemp

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has announced that he will lift the state's shelter-in-place order for most residents on Thursday at 11:59 pm, though it will remain in place for the elderly and “medically fragile” through June 12.

Why it matters: Kemp has come under fire for his aggressive efforts to roll back coronavirus restrictions earlier than most governors. Even President Trump, an ally of the governor, said he "strongly disagrees" with Kemp's decision last week to reopen non-essential businesses like gyms, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors.

The big picture: While all businesses will be allowed to reopen, Kemp said he is urging shops to follow “strict social distancing and sanitation rules” that will run through May 13.

  • Kemp also renewed restrictions that require nursing homes and long-term care facilities to take aggressive steps to curb the virus through June 12.
  • Georgia residents should still adhere to the CDC's recommendation of wearing masks in public and maintaining six feet of distance.

By the numbers: Georgia has reported 26,125 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 1,120 deaths as of Thursday.

What they're saying: “What we’ve done has worked. It’s given us time to build our hospital infrastructure capacity, get ventilators and ramp up testing. That’s what really drove our decision," Kemp said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The other side: "Brian Kemp is playing a dangerous game by ending Georgia’s shelter in place order before it is safe,"said Nikema Williams, chair of the Georgia Democratic Party. "It is reckless and irresponsible for Kemp to use Georgians as the guinea pigs in a public health experiment that will go wrong."

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