Vernon Jones launches campaign for governor

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Vernon Jones Governor Campaign

ATLANTA – Former State Representative Vernon Jones announced his intentions to run for Georgia Governor on Friday, April 16 at Liberty Park next to the Georgia State Capitol.

“This is the beginning of a movement whose time has come,” Jones opened. “For those of you who feel the incumbent Governor didn’t fight for you, a new day has dawned.”

Focused on looking past differences of North and South Georgia, race, or class, Jones pledged to bring opportunities for everyone.

He promised election integrity, school choice, support for law enforcement, driving crime out of Atlanta, comprehensive economic plan, natural resource preservation, and creating one Georgia.

Jones a vocal critic of Governor Brian Kemp recently became a Republican, perhaps just to primary Kemp. Previously, Jones denounced the Democrat Party but stated he had no plans of changing Parties. He’s a strong Trump supporter as well.

“Even sitting on the back of the truck won’t change it,” Jones remarked about Kemp’s attempts to rehabilitate his image among some Republicans.

By signing SB 202, Kemp’s appeared to win back some support from disillusioned Republican voters. It’s unclear to what extent in rural Georgia.

Jones added SB 202 didn’t address the issue of changing the election system, but he didn’t elaborate on the needed changes.

Trump’s continued to criticize Georgia elected officials including Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for not supporting his efforts to overturn 2020 election results. The former President promised to haunt these individuals during their 2022 reelection efforts.

So far, he’s made good on his promise, Representative Jody Hice (R-10) announced his intentions to run for Secretary of State and within hours Trump endorsed him. Trump’s floated ideas about those who should run for governor and senator in Georgia.

“Our country and our army are going to be inclusive regardless of race, gender, or orientation. We are building an army. The establishment and outlets are going to come after me. Matter of fact, they already are and you know why? It’s because they know the governor can’t beat Stacey Abrams and they know Stacey Abrams can’t beat Vernon Jones,” the former representative commented while using Trump’s attack the media and fiery rhetoric tactics.

Jones has recently spent several weekends in Mar-a-Lago and told the crowd that he sends his regards.

Jones will have for his time as a Democrat to Republican voters even though he used to describe himself as a “conservative Democrat.”

At his campaign launch, Jones said, “I didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left me.” He continued to talk about his faith-based, hard work, and less government driven values.

He stated that Democrats have two crows “Joe and Jim,” and they have “hijacked” the Civil Rights Movement for political gain and money. Stacey Abrams in his book is “the wicked witch of the south.”

Earlier this week, he asked that Georgian’s show him the same courtesy that they did to former Governors Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal who also switched Parties. The last Democrat governor in Georgia was Roy Barnes in 1999.

Kemp signs Election Integrity Act of 2021

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Election integrity Act of 2021

ATLANTA – Election reform is coming to Georgia after Governor Brian Kemp (R) signed the SB 202, Election Integrity Act of 2021, mere hours after it landed on his desk.

During his televised remarks about the legislation Kemp stated, “With Senate Bill 202, Georgia will take another step in ensuring elections, accessible and fair.”

He thanked Chairman Barry Flemming and Chairman Max Burns and Senate and House Leadership for their work on the issue.

Kemp also mentioned his fight to keep Georgia’s elections fair by investigating voter fraud and defending the state’s voter ID laws.

“After November I knew like so many of you that significant reforms to our state elections were needed. There’s no doubt there were many alarming issues with how the election was handled and those problems understandable led to the crisis of confidence at the ballot box here in Georgia,” Kemp said.

Kemp was the first to call on Raffensperger to audit the absentee ballots and did so four times.

SB 202 replaces signature match with a state-issued ID requirement and Kemp believes this will streamline the absentee ballot process. He added the bill makes it “easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

Weekend voting will be expanded to two mandatory Saturdays and two optional Sundays. Ballot drop boxes will be secured 24/7 and security paper is required for ballot authentication.

“November 2020 election saw a 350 percent increase in the use of absentee ballots,” Kemp explained. “This obviously led local election workers to have to process far more ballots using a time consuming, labor-intensive, and at times arbitrary process.”

Georgia Democrats have been vocal about their opposition to the bill, calling it a power grab for a declining party that doesn’t know how to connect with a changing Georgia.

Election Integrity Act of 2021 does limit the power of the Secretary of State, removing the elected official as chairman of the state board of elections. The Secretary of State will now be a “nonvoting ex officio member” and the legislature will appoint the chairman. The state board can now oversee and review the performance of local election boards too. If a board is found lacking, the state board can appoint a new supervisor for that county.

The 90-plus page bill can be read on the General Assembly site.

President Joe Biden (D) spoke about the election reform legislation sweeping Republican-controlled state legislatures. He called the bills “sick” saying it made “Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.” He promised to do everything in his power to stop the reform efforts.

Other states with election bills in process are Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

https://www.gpb.org/events/news/2021/03/25/governor-kemp-news-conference

Kemp issues 1,000 bonus for state employees

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ATLANTA, Ga. – On February 10, Governor Brian Kemp announced plans to pay nearly 60,000 state employees a one-time bonus of $1,000.

Speaker David Ralston (R – Blue Ridge), flanked by Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan (R) and other lawmakers, said that the proposal was actually an extension to Kemp’s plan outlined in the State of the State speech last month.

“We wanted to extend that $1,000 bonus beyond our teachers to many of our frontline state employees who have also served our citizens through the worst days of this pandemic,” said Ralston.

Kemp reiterated that this bonus couldn’t come at a better time for many families that struggled through the pandemic.

Georgia State Capitol

“Our state employees have worked incredibly hard despite a global pandemic.  They have been going above and beyond the call of duty to deliver essential services to our most vulnerable, keeping our businesses open and delivering financial assistance to those who quite honestly many days were losing hope,” said Kemp.  “Like so many hardworking Georgians, they juggled jobs and school and the new normal for their kids and their families like we all have and to those of [you] here today we just simply cannot thank you enough.”

Much of the flexibility that allows Georgia to have an opportunity to propose legislation like this comes from the federal CARES Act passed by Congress and a 6.1% increase in state revenue compared to this time last year.

In total, $59 million will be set aside to cover the bonuses.

Not all state employees will be eligible. Those making over $80,000 a year or who work for the Board of Regents may not see these bonuses.

State law still requires that both the House and Senate have to agree on the proposed amendment before it moves to the Governor’s desk.

King Keeps Lawmakers in Hot Seat Over Immigration

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Immigration proponent D.A. King

ELLIJAY, Ga – Immigration enforcement proponent D.A. King raised concerns about the future of federal program 287(g) and Governor Brian Kemp’s dedication to ending illegal immigration in Georgia.

King started by highlighting his better part of two decades focused on the issues of illegal immigration. What’s more, he serves as President and Founder of the Dustin Inman Society, a 501(c)(4). This nonprofit was formed in 2005 in honor of Dustin Inman who died after Gonzalo Harrell-Gonzalez, a Mexican national rear-ended the vehicle of Billy and Kathy Inman while stopped at a traffic light in Ellijay. Harrell-Gonzalez would later flee the country after his recovery from a local hospital. Injuries sustained from Billy and Kathy Inman were life-altering enough that they were unable to attend their son’s funeral.

Dustin Inman

Dustin’s Father would spend his remaining years advocating for tougher immigration policies while caring for his wife until his death of a heart attack on June 7, 2019.

One of King’s concerns is the fate of the federal program 287(g), which was designed to help local law enforcement ID, process, and expedite the removal of aliens with criminal or pending charges. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security acknowledges the program has contributed to over nine hundred assault convictions and nearly 40 individuals convicted of homicide, just in 2020 alone. King believes the Biden Administration will take a blanket amnesty approach that threatens the program. Currently, six agencies in Georgia use the 287(g) program.

Governor Brian Kemp’s in King’s crosshairs as well for his alleged failed campaign promise on immigration. With heightened awareness on the economy, social justice, and the pandemic, King says, “he [Kemp] has betrayed them” on the issue of immigration enforcement. While Kemp was vocal about the issue during his 2018 bid for Governor, Kemp failed to mention immigration in his State of the State Address to legislators on January 13 of this year.

Consequently, King vows to continue putting pressure on lawmakers to ensure immigration enforcement policy isn’t lost in the conversation, especially as we enter the 2022 race for Governor.

Details about Kemp’s shelter in place order

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shelter in place

ATLANTA, Ga – Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter in place order took effect on Friday, April 3 at 6 p.m. and will last until Monday, April 13, unless otherwise extended. The order came after Kemp reportedly just learned about asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19.

Under the shelter in place order, Kemp placed travel restrictions on residents except for “essential services,” “minimal basic operations,” and “critical infrastructure” workers.

Residents can only receive visitors that provide essential services – medical and supplies, end-of-life care, and items necessary for daily life. Visitors must maintain six feet of distance from residents. These directives will be strictly enforced in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Essential services include necessary provisions trips to stores and pharmacies, medical visits, emergency services, and outdoor exercise – six feet apart from others. Citizens are encouraged to use delivery and curbside services over in-store shopping.

Critical Infrastructure is identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, such as home care, hospice, suppliers, legal services, health care, food banks, and non-profit mental health services. Local ordinances can’t impede these organizations.

Minimum Basic Operations include the bare necessities in order to maintain businesses as well as allow them to remain open under the order. Remote work and outside jobs like landscaping, agriculture, contractors, and delivery services are still possible under the order.

All Critical and Non-Critical Infrastructure businesses must implement the following mitigation measures:

  • Screen workers for sickness including fevers of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or more, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • Workers who exhibit symptoms must stay home.
  • Regular sanitation of business and place hand sanitation encouragement in visible areas.
  • Required employee handwashing or sanitation as appropriate places in business.
  • Provide protective equipment as available and appropriate.
  • Prohibit employee gatherings while at work.
  • Permit breaks to be taken outside, individual’s office desk, or where social distancing is possible.
  • Implement telework for all possible employees and hold all meetings virtually.
  • Stagger shifts.
  • Deliver intangibles remotely when possible.
  • Discourage workers from using other employees’ phones.
  • Prohibit handshakes.
  • Suspend use of PIN pads for entry, electronic signature capture, and any other credit card receipt signature requirements.
  • Enforce social distancing
  • Provide an alternate point of sale for retailers and service providers
  • Increase distance between customers and employees.
  • Provide disinfectant and sanitation tools to employees.
  • Create six feet of distance between workspaces.

Restaurants, diners, bars, social clubs, gyms, bowling alleys, theaters, venues, salons, body art studios, and massage parlors are now closed until the order ends. Takeout, curbside, and delivery are permitted. This doesn’t apply to health care or nursing home cafeterias, but in-room dining is strongly encouraged.

If an emergency that requires residents to leave their homes, then the shelter in place order can be overlooked.

On April 3, Kemp deputized local law enforcement to ensure everyone follows the shelter in place order.

Local government can’t pass any ordinances that don’t fall in line with the shelter in place order. They can, however, pass ordinances that “enforce compliance with the order.”

shelter in placeshelter in place shelter in place

Kemp, Carden deploy soldiers to fight COVID-19 in long-term care facilities

Press Release, State & National
long-term care

Atlanta, GA – Over the next few weeks, Governor Brian P. Kemp and Georgia National Guard Adjutant General Tom Carden will activate and deploy over 100 Guardsmen to any long-term care facility – assisted living facility or nursing home – with COVID-19 cases. The Governor and Adjutant General will send troops to specific locations to implement infection control protocols and enhanced sanitation methods to mitigate COVID-19 exposure among vulnerable residents.

“Georgia’s top priority is increasing healthcare capacity to protect vulnerable Georgians, especially those residing in long-term care facilities,” said Governor Kemp. “If we can keep these populations as healthy as possible, we will be able to conserve precious medical supplies and hospital bed space in the coming days and weeks.”

“The Georgia National Guard stands ready to assist any long-term care facility in this time of need through staff training and implementation of infectious disease control measures,” said Adjutant General Tom Carden. “Our training has prepared us to fight this virus, and we are eager to lend a hand in this battle.”

Twenty soldiers are headed to Pelham, Georgia today to Pelham Parkway Nursing Home to audit existing sanitation methods, train staff on utilizing more aggressive infectious disease control measures, and thoroughly clean the facility. This facility has reported five confirmed cases of COVID-19. For future missions, only four or five soldiers will deploy to a specific facility. However, for Pelham Parkway Nursing Home, twenty soldiers are going for training purposes.

This assignment is the first of several missions based on close cooperation with the Georgia National Guard, Department of Public Health, Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, Georgia Health Care Association, and Georgia Center for Assisted Living.

Kemp Closes K-12 Public Schools Through April 24

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SBA Kemp

Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp issued Executive Order 03.26.20.02 closing public elementary and secondary schools for in-person instruction through April 24, 2020. Students may return to school on Monday, April 27, 2020.

“I am deeply grateful to State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the Georgia Department of Education, superintendents, and parents for keeping us informed and helping us make the right decision for our students,” said Governor Kemp. “Throughout this process, we will continue to seek the advice of public health officials, school leaders, and families to ensure the health and safety of the educational community. As we approach April 24, 2020, we ask for continued patience and flexibility since circumstances may change, but we encourage families to stay strong and follow the guidance of federal, state, and local leaders in the weeks ahead.”

The University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia will remain closed for in-person instruction through the rest of the semester since students have already transitioned to all online learning.

To read Kemp’s latest update on the COVID-19 in Georgia, click here.

UPDATE: Gov. Kemp instructs medically at-risk individuals to shelter in place

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quarantine GEMA

ATLANTA, Ga – In a March 23 press conference, Gov. Kemp issued multiple executive orders and asked for the public’s help to ensure everyone is following CDC and Georgia Department of Health (DPH) guidelines during the country’s self-quarantine.

While Kemp is still hesitant to shut down all non-essential businesses or institute a statewide mandatory quarantine, he did issue an executive order to all medically fragile individuals to shelter in place. He listed off these individuals: the elderly, underlying conditions, cancer patients, or anyone suspected of having COVID-19.

In another executive order, Kemp closed all bars and nightclubs in the state and banned large gatherings (more than 10).

Kemp also said to fellow Georgians that if they see anyone not following the CDC of DPH guidelines, “call them out or report them to us.” He seemed prepared to take action against anyone not listening to his instructions or taking COVID-19 seriously.

“Fight this virus with everything you got,” stated Kemp toward the end of his press conference.

Georgians can also call the DPH COVID-19 hotline at (844) 442-2681. If they believe that they’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact their primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Do not show up at a clinic or emergency room unannounced.

Georgia now has 23 referral-only testing facilities in the state. Kemp released the location of the facilities in a tweet.


Update from March 15, 2020 below

Gov. Kemp, Georgia Department of Health (DPH), and Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) started construction of a quarantine zone in Monroe County on March 14, 2020. Additionally, the Georgia General Assembly ratified the executive order declaring a Public Health State of Emergency.

“This is one of many measures that we’re taking to prepare for any scenario,” said Gov. Kemp. “I appreciate the hard work of GEMA, DPH, and Monroe County officials to protect the health and safety of all Georgians.”

Public Health Emergency

Gov. Brian Kemp

The quarantine space is for people who are unable to self-isolate and is located in the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) Campus in Monroe County. The quarantine space will be able to accommodate twenty temporary housing units. No patients are currently located at the facility.

Monroe County is working with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) and GPSTC officials to ensure the facility will meet the needs of potential patients while protecting the health and safety of Monroe County residents.

Public Health Emergency Ratification

Kemp can now officially enforce all laws, rules, and regulations associated with the emergency; assume control of all state civil forces and helpers; seize property temporarily for public’s protection; exercise other duties deemed necessary for safety; use all the resources available of the state government; direct evacuation; suspend of alcohol, explosives, and combustibles; and provide temporary housing if applicable.

Since this is a public health emergency, Kemp also has the ability to “implement a mandatory vaccination or quarantine” in accordance with O.C.G.A. Code 38-3-51(i)(2). The Georgia Department of Health (DPH) already has this capability to mandate quarantine and vaccinations.

Additionally, Kemp can direct DPH’s efforts to coordinate the department’s response to the crisis from risk assessments, mitigation, responses, and recovery throughout the state.

The General Assembly also granted Kemp the ability to extend the state of emergency if the elected representative body can’t convene in time.

Original Article:

On Saturday morning, Governor Brian Kemp officially declared Georgia’s first Public Health Emergency, freeing up resources and granting additional powers to Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA). The General Assembly will vote on the executive order on Monday.

A Public Health Emergency is enacted when an infectious disease/illness presents an imminent threat and can potentially result in a high number of deaths and/or exposure could harm large amounts of people.

So, what exactly does this executive order entail for Georgians? In short, it guarantees a continuous supply of medical goods and other emergency materials, as well as giving DPH and GEMA powers to “taken any action necessary to protect the public’s health” with the governor’s permission.

The department of public health is authorized to “actively monitor” persons under investigation (PUI), including a risk assessment within 24 hours of identification, and twice-daily temperature checks for 14 days or until a negative test result.

Here’s the entire executive order for those who want to review it.

These actions include “implementing quarantine, isolation, and other necessary public health interventions in accordance with O.C.G.A. Code 31-12-4 and Code 38-3-51(i)(2) or as other authorized by law.

O.C.G.A. Code 31-12-4 addresses isolation and segregation of diseased persons stating the DPH and county boards can isolate or quarantine individuals suspected of harboring infectious diseases, or until they test negative for the contagion.  The department also must widely publicize the rules and regulations for the quarantine.

O.C.G.A. Code 38-3-51(i)(2) lists the due processes afforded to those in quarantine and seeks to leave before the department of public health gives the okay.

Additionally, the Georgia Emergency Operations Plan is activated. DPH and GEMA must coordinate with state, federal, and local government, recovery operations, mitigation, emergency response activities, CDC, and the release of the national stockpile of goods.

The public must also be informed about public health operations, including education and prevention measures.

Commercial vehicles have certain restrictions lifted, so they can operate more freely to move supplies throughout the state.

Georgia Board of Nurses and Georgia Composite Medical Board can grant temporary licenses to applicants that are in good standing with an equivalent board in another state.

All state and local healthcare facilities, physicians, clinics, and personnel must comply with the governor’s orders.

Price gouging on products on goods and services necessary in this public health emergency is prohibited.

The Georgia National Guard was called in on March 14 to assist in the crisis.

The executive order expires on April 13, 2020, unless Gov. Kemp renews it.

Copy of Gov. Kemp Special Session proclamation.

Kemp declares Public Health Emergency, what does it mean?

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public health emergency

ATLANTA, Ga – On Saturday morning, Governor Brian Kemp officially declared Georgia’s first Public Health Emergency, freeing up resources and granting additional powers to Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA). The General Assembly will vote on the executive order on Monday.

So, what exactly does this executive order entail Georgians? In short, it guarantees a continuous supply of medical goods and other emergency materials, as well as giving DPH and GEMA powers to “taken any action necessary to protect the public’s health” with the governor’s permission.

The department of public health is authorized to “actively monitor” persons under investigation (PUI), including a risk assessment within 24 hours of identification, and twice-daily temperature checks for 14 days or until a negative test result.

Here’s the entire executive order for those who want to review it.

These actions include “implementing quarantine, isolation, and other necessary public health interventions in accordance with O.C.G.A. Code 31-12-4 and Code 38-3-51(i)(2) or as other authorized by law.

O.C.G.A. Code 31-12-4 addresses isolation and segregation of diseased persons stating the DPH and county boards can isolate or quarantine individuals suspected of harboring infectious diseases, or until they test negative for the contagion.  The department also must widely publicize the rules and regulations for the quarantine.

O.C.G.A. Code 38-3-51(i)(2) lists the due processes afforded to those in quarantine and seeks to leave before the department of public health gives the okay.

Additionally, the Georgia Emergency Operations Plan is activated. DPH and GEMA must coordinate with state, federal, and local government, recovery operations, mitigation, emergency response activities, CDC, and the release of the national stockpile of goods.

The public must also be informed about public health operations, including education and prevention measures.

Commercial vehicles have certain restrictions lifted, so they can operate more freely to move supplies throughout the state.

Georgia Board of Nurses and Georgia Composite Medical Board can grant temporary licenses to applicants that are in good standing with an equivalent board in another state.

All state and local healthcare facilities, physicians, clinics, and personnel must comply with the governor’s orders.

Price gouging on products on goods and services necessary in this public health emergency is prohibited.

The Georgia National Guard was called in on March 14 to assist in the crisis.

The executive order expires on April 13, 2020, unless Gov. Kemp renews it.

Copy of Gov. Kemp Special Session proclamation.

Kemp: Public Health Emergency in Georgia Effective Tomorrow

Press Release, State & National
Public Health Emergency

Atlanta, GA – Governor Brian Kemp’s office released a press release on Friday, March 13 to announce the intention to declare Georgia’s first public health emergency.

Following President Trump’s national emergency declaration today, Governor Kemp issued the following statement:

“Based on President Trump’s emergency declaration, I will declare a public health emergency for the State of Georgia tomorrow morning. This declaration will greatly assist health and emergency management officials across Georgia by deploying all available resources for the mitigation and treatment of COVID-19. In accordance with state law, I will call for a special session of the General Assembly to convene at the State Capitol at 8 AM on Monday, March 16, 2020 to ratify this action through a joint resolution.

“At this time, it is appropriate for faith-based organizations and similar entities to consider cancellation of public events and services. Contact your local public health office or consult official sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health, for helpful guidance on decision-making. Elderly citizens and those with chronic, underlying health conditions face a serious threat to their health, and we must do everything in our power to reduce risk associated with this virus. Continue to support one another, be mindful of potential exposure, use best practices to prevent infection, and pray for your fellow Americans in the weeks ahead.”

After reviewing state records, it appears that Governor Kemp’s declaration tomorrow will constitute Georgia’s first-ever public health emergency. The applicable code section is O.C.G.A. 38-3-51.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GeorgiaEMA, @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GEMA.OHS, @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook. For more information, visit the DPH’s coronavirus webpage at https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus.

Kemp issues call to action to all Georgians, schools, and local governments

Community, Featured, Health

ATLANTA, Ga – Governor Brian Kemp announced schools, childcare providers, local governments in Georgia now have the option to close, at least, for the next two weeks, starting this afternoon, during his latest COVID-19 press conference.

Mere hours after he confirmed, the first death in Georgia from COVID-19, Kemp gathered Speaker of the House David Ralston, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Georgia Department of  Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to reveal extra measures for Georgians regarding the virus.

Kemp’s administration changed messaging to protect the elderly and chronically ill Georgians from COVID-19.

“Our message is changing. Elderly Georgians and those with chronic underlying health conditions face a much higher risk of adverse consequences from exposure to coronavirus,” stated Kemp. “We need to help them to dramatically limit their exposure to the public for the foreseeable future.”

These individuals need to avoid mass gatherings, even faith-based events to protect themselves against the virus. Two COVID-19 patients in Bartow did share contact by attending the same church.

Kemp urged citizens to talk with their families and make plans to protect those at risk by picking up their groceries, prescriptions, and helping them in any way possible.

The call to close schools or government offices isn’t a mandate, but, rather, the option now available, when “prudent”, to help keep Georgians safe. However, if counties, schools, or childcare providers don’t see a need to shut down, then they do not have to close.

Additionally, all elder care facilities are now closed to visitation until April 10, 2020, except for family members and end of life services.

Non-essential travel and telework are now in effect for state government, but the government offices and Capitol will remain open. Kemp’s office will send out guidance to all agency leaders for implantation.

The governor also implemented four new committees as part of the coronavirus task force: Emergency Preparedness Committee, led by Insurance Safety and Fire Commissioner John King, Economic Impact Committee, led by State Economist Jeff Dorfman, Primary Care Physicians Committee, led by Dr. Ben Watson, and Homeless Community Committee, led by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Update on Testing Capabilities

Toomey stated that currently the state can perform 50 tests a day and the department of health has more equipment on the way as well as additional training. She hopes the number will be up to 100 tests a day by the end of next week. Right now, Georgia has enough materials to conduct 500 tests in part thanks to the support from the CDC.

“We are testing high-risk patients,” said Toomey.

GA DPH commissioner Dr. Toomey is hopeful that Georgia’s ability to test for COVID-19 will continue to grow.

20 percent of patients have more severe diseases and five percent need help breathing, so those who fall into the high-risk category are being tested first.

Lab Corp can now process tests, which should speed up the process. The CDC has eased restrictions on COVID-19 testing, so the M-95 masks are no longer necessary as part of protective equipment.

She stressed the importance of those who might have COVID-19 to call ahead because no one wants to infect those in the emergency room or waiting room.

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