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In a video statement, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he would allow the shelter-in-place order for most Georgians to expire tonight, April 30, at 11:59 p.m.
Kemp said he would sign an order today requiring medically fragile and elderly Georgians to continue to shelter-in-place through June 12 and would extend the public health state of emergency to the same date.

“Tonight at 11:59 PM, the statewide shelter in place order for most Georgians will expire. However, moving forward, I am urging Georgians to continue to stay home whenever possible,” said in the video and accompanying statement released to the media.  “I want to thank the people of our great state who heeded public health advice, afforded us time to bolster our healthcare infrastructure, and flattened the curve. We were successful in these efforts, but the fight is far from over.”

Kemp’s statement comes as confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 continue to tick up, with the state surpassing 26,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,000 deaths.

Kemp said his decision was “based on data and advice from health officials.”

He said businesses and restaurants that have been allowed to reopen must continue to follow the social distancing and sanitation rules set by the state until May 13.

However, Kemp did not make any announcement about when bars, nightclubs, live music venues, amusement parks or public swimming pools could reopen.

Kemp also ordered long-term care facilities – including nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living facilities, and similar community living homes – to utilize enhanced infection control protocols, ensure safer living conditions, and protect residents and staff from coronavirus exposure.

Georgia is projected to see its number of daily COVID-19 deaths nearly double by early August, according to an updated model from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The projections for Georgia show the highest uptick in deaths per day will be between May and August.

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.