Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced this afternoon, April 1, that he will issue an Executive Order tomorrow, April 2, that will put in place a shelter-in-place mandate that will go into effect on Friday, April 3. The existing school closure mandate is extended to last through the end of the school year.
Citing new CDC information stressing growing evidence of the extent which COVID-19 can be transmitted by individuals who do not exhibit symptoms of the disease, Kemp said the stay-at-home directives of the Executive Order, which will be published tomorrow, will be enforced by "state law enforcement and other people that we will have the power to deputize."
The full Executive Order to be published tomorrow will include many details not yet decided on, including details on which businesses will be considered "exempt," Kemp said.
Kemp added that he did not think that he did not have "authorization" under the current public health emergency status to delay the election.
The extension of the closure of schools applies to K-12 schools. Online learning will continue.
Kathleen Toomey, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, called new information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 "game changing."
"We knew form the pattern of spread...that there is likely asymptomatic transmission. CDC guidance and our own testing patterns were to test those with symptoms," she said, explaining that the growing concern about asymptomatic spread of the disease is a combination of "recognizing there are a large number of people out there that are infected and are asymptomatic who never would have been recognized under our old models," and also "the community transmission we are seeing, and recognizing that now is the time to stop that transmission before the hospitals get overrun."
ConnectLocal will update this story as soon as the official Executive Order is published tomorrow.