Updated: Apr 25
ConnectLocal provides an overview of rules, mandates and guidelines issued by Gov. Kemp's 26-page Reviving a Healthy Georgia Executive Order
This week started with an announcement by Georgia Gov., Brian Kemp, outlining his plan to begin an active push to “re-open Georgia,” The plan drew harsh criticism from some fellow politicians, including some Republican allies and President Donald Trump, as well as a wave of support from businesses and citizens who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdown.
During Kemp’s Monday address, he announced that businesses specifically mandated to close by his Shelter-In-Place order of April 3 will be allowed to re-open and conduct in-person services, subject to a number or restrictions and safety measures. He also promised that restaurants would be able to once again offer dine-in services beginning Monday, April 27, with details to come later in the week.
"Last week, the White House issued guidelines for states to begin to safely reopen our nation’s economy. We appreciate their leadership and share in the president’s desire to reopen the economy and get Americans back to work. As a small business person for over thirty years, I know the impact of this pandemic on hardworking Georgians in every zip code and every community,” Kemp stated. “With heightened supply and limited demand, crops are rotting and farmers are struggling to keep employees on the payroll. Our small business owners are seeing sales plummet, and the company that they built with blood, sweat, and tears disappear right before them. Contract workers are struggling to put food on the table. Our large businesses, which serve as anchors in many Georgia towns, are scaling back operations, leaving some with reduced hours and others with no job. These are tough moments in our state and nation. I hear the concerns of those I am honored to serve. I see the terrible impact of COVID-19 on public health and the pocketbook.”
ConnectLocal provided a review Kemp’s Executive Order 04.20.20.01, which goes into effect today, March 24, and guides the first phase of re-openings, including hair salons, bowling alleys, hairstylists, tattoo artists and more.
"The entities that I am reopening are not reopening for 'business as usual.' Each of these entities will be subject to specific restrictions, including adherence to Minimum Basic Operations, social distancing, and regular sanitation,” Kemp stressed. “Minimum Basic Operations includes, but is not limited to, screening workers for fever and respiratory illness, enhancing workplace sanitation, wearing masks and gloves if appropriate, separating workspaces by at least six feet, teleworking where at all possible, and implementing staggered shifts.”
Kemp also provided extended guidelines for hairdresser, salons and other cosmetology businesses. ConnectLocal provides details on those guidelines.
Executive order Order 04.20.20.01, in addition to detailing the guidelines for opening of “close-contact” businesses such as salons and massage therapists, included a raft of administrative declarations. ConnectLocal has provided a review of the administrative directives, many of which grant expanded powers to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Last night’s issuance of Executive Order 04.23.20.02, titled by Kemp as “Reviving a Healthy Georgia” went well beyond the expected guidelines for the re-opening of dine-in services at restaurants and provides detailed polices and procedures for a number of specific industries, as well as updates on Critical Infrastructure, Minimum Basic Operations and Essential Services. Kemp’s late-evening Executive Order addressed the following mandates:
Social Distancing: "Today’s announcement is a small step forward and should be treated as such. The shelter in place order is still active and will expire at 11:59 PM on April 30 for most Georgians. We urge everyone to continue to follow CDC and DPH guidance by sheltering in place as often as you can. Limit your travel and limit who goes with you on errands to prevent potential exposure. If possible, wear face masks or cloth coverings when you are in public to slow the spread of coronavirus,” Kemp said.
Shelter-In-Place Order. The current Shelter-In-Place order will expire on April 30. In Executive Oder 04.23.20.02, Kemp puts in place a limited Shelter-In-Place Order to commence as soon as the current order expires. The new order continues the directive for all citizens to practice social distancing and good hygiene, and contains essentially the same guidelines regarding restrictions on travel, work and socialization, but those restrictions will limited to at-risk populations. ConnectLocal has provided a thorough review of the specification of the new Shelter-In-Place Order.
Specific guidelines for additional industries and businesses, including movie theaters
Guidelines of those engaged in outdoor work
Guidelines for Department of Driver Services - For the duration of the Public Health State of Emergency, applicants for a driver’s license shall not be required to complete on-road driving test, provided that all other requirements are met, and requirements for holding a valid instruction permit for 12 months prior to being eligible for a Class D drivers license are suspended.
"We urge everyone to continue to follow CDC and DPH guidance by sheltering in place as often as you can. Limit your travel and limit who goes with you on errands to prevent potential exposure. If possible, wear face masks or cloth coverings when you are in public to slow the spread of coronavirus,” Kemp said.
Bars, nightclubs, amusement park ride operators, and live performance venues will remain closed through at least May 13, 2020 when the Public Health State of Emergency is set to expire.
Minimum Basic Operations
MBOs include the following categories:
The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of a business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, or organization; provide services; manage inventory; ensure security; process payroll and employee benefits; or for related functions, and such minimum necessary activities include remaining open to the public subject to the restrictions of this Order
The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees or volunteers being able to work remotely from their residences or members or patrons being able to participate remotely from their residences
Instances where employees are working outdoors without regular contact with other persons, such as delivery services, contractors, landscape businesses, and agricultural industry services
All businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations that are subject to the Minimum Basic Operations restrictions shall implement measures which mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19. Such measures shall include:
Screening and evaluating workers who exhibit signs of illness, such as a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, or shortness of breath;
Requiring workers who exhibit signs of illness to not report to work or to seek medical attention;
Enhancing sanitation of the workplace as appropriate;
Requiring hand washing or sanitation by workers at appropriate places within the business location;
Providing personal protective equipment as available and appropriate to the function and location of the worker within the business location;
Prohibiting gatherings of workers during working hours;
Permitting workers to take breaks and meals outside, in their office or personal workspace, or in such other areas where proper social distancing is attainable;
Implementing teleworking for all possible workers;
Implementing staggered shifts for all possible workers;
Holding all meetings and conferences virtually, wherever possible;
Delivering intangible services remotely wherever possible;
Discouraging workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment;
Prohibiting handshaking and other unnecessary person-to-person contact in the workplace;
Placing notices that encourage hand hygiene at the entrance to the workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen;
Suspending the use of Personal Identification Number (“PIN”) pads, PIN entry devices, electronic signature capture, and any other credit card receipt signature requirements to the extent such suspension is permitted by agreements with credit card companies and credit agencies;
Enforcing social distancing of non-cohabitating persons while present on such entity’s leased or owned property;
For retailers and service providers, providing for alternative points of sale outside of buildings, including curbside pickup or delivery of products and/or services if an alternative point of sale is permitted under Georgia law;
Increasing physical space between workers and customers;
Providing disinfectant and sanitation products for workers to clean their workspace, equipment, and tools;
Increasing physical space between workers’ worksites to at least six (6) feet