On Saturday, Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp issued a new executive order extending emergency restrictions until Aug. 31, 2020. At the same time, he included language that prevents other governing bodies from imposing more stringent restrictions, such as a mask mandate.
“In late July, I asked Georgians to do ‘Four Things for Four Weeks’ to stop COVID-19. Without a mandate, our citizens answered the call, and we are making progress. In Georgia, our statewide case numbers have dropped 22% over the last two weeks, and daily hospitalizations have decreased by 7% in the last seven days. We are on average testing over 31,000 Georgians daily at 180 SPOCs while maintaining a low rate of transmission. The positivity rate is on the decline, and the mortality rate continues to fall.”
Kemp went on to note that, while the data may be encouraging, it is not the time to become complacent.
“This Executive Order extends the shelter in place order for the medically fragile, continues the ban on large gatherings, and maintains health and safety protocols for Georgia businesses,” Kemp said, going on to note that the order also protects businesses from government overreach by restriction the application and enforcement of local masking requirements to public property. This comes on the heals of the withdrawal of his law suit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms after she imposed a mask mandate in the City of Atlanta.
“While I support local control, it must be properly balanced with property rights and personal freedoms,” he said. “As always, we encourage citizens to wear masks, watch their distance, wash hands, and continue to follow the guidance provided in the Executive Order. Together, we will protect the lives, livelihoods, and personal freedoms of all Georgians.”
The full Executive Order 08.15.20.01 can be found at this link.