Gov. Kemp extends state of emergency through July 31

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed an executive order to extend the state’s COVID-19 State of Emergency from July 16 until the end of the day on July 31, 2020.

According to Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Legal Counsel Bethany Sherrer, “The new order strongly encourages all residents and visitors to wear face coverings where practicable while outside of their homes, except when eating, drinking, or exercising outdoors.”

Sherrer also notes that, “It mandates that with the exception of ‘critical infrastructure,’ no business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, organization, or county or municipal government may allow gatherings of more than 50 people. And, it requires residents and visitors who are at higher risk of severe illness, as defined in the order, to shelter in place.”

The order requires certain entities to take steps [and/or to adhere to certain guidelines] to help mitigate or prevent the spread of the disease, including restaurants, dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, private reception venues, “critical infrastructure” businesses, grocery stores, fitness studios, salons, movie theaters, bars, operators of amusement park rides, “certain other businesses,” schools, childcare facilities, summer camps, live performance and sports venues, and conventions. 

And Sherrer explains that, “The Georgia Board of Education is being required to promulgate rules allowing local boards of education to deviate from a strict interpretation of ‘school year,’ ‘school month,’ or ‘school day.’”

Finally, Sherrer says, “The order provides local governments with guidance for operation and exceptions to current law where certain activities would be mandated, and it suspends any local orders, rules, and regulations that are more or less restrictive than the executive order, specifically including any orders, rules, or regulations mandating face coverings to the extent they are more restrictive than this order.”

MAG members can contact Sherrer at bsherrer@mag.org with questions related to the executive order.

Gov. Kemp’s Executive Order