Kemp at his April 1 press conference in Liberty Plaza announcing his plan to issue a shelter-in-place order. (Photo courtesy CBS46)

Gov. Brian Kemp officially signed a shelter-in-place order for the state of Georgia to combat coronavirus (COVID-19) that begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 3, and continues until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 13.

The order comes as the number of confirmed cases reached 5,444 and 176 related deaths in Georgia.

The order allows Georgians to leave their homes to go to the supermarket, pharmacies, doctor’s appointments, and leave their home for work.

Kemp also closed businesses like gyms, salons, barbershops, bowling alleys, theaters, live performance venues, and  dine-in service at restaurants, but allows for carry-out, curbside pickup and deliveries.

The order fails to outline what is considered an “essential” business, but instead lists criteria for “minimum basic operations” and “critical infrastructure” that determines which businesses can remain open. View the guidance and FAQs for the executive order HERE.

As for church services, which have been in the headlines for being hot spots for spreading COVID-19, Kemp doesn’t outright ban them, but says only 10 people can be inside a place of worship at a time and must be six feet apart. The same goes for funerals and memorial services.

You can view the executive order HERE.

Kemp has taken heat for waiting so long to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order, letting cities and counties come up with a confusing hodgepodge of their own orders.

The governor caused a storm of outrage on social media and was mocked after his April 1 press conference when he claimed he was unaware that coronavirus could be spread by someone not showing symptoms. Health officials have been reporting for more than a month that COVID-19 could be transmitted by those asymptomatic for the virus.

In addition to the shelter-in-place order, Kemp signed a second order closing all public schools for the rest of the academic year. The University System of Georgia said today that summer classes would also be held online.

Collin KelleyEditor

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.