Georgia - COVID-19 Covered

Georgia

Total Cases: 853,173 (January 23)
Tests Administered: 6,122,066 (January 22)
Fatalities: 13,060 (January 23)
Testing:
  • Information on COVID-19 testing in Georgia can be found here. 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Kemp signed an executive order clarifying and expanding essential services to include the visitation, care, and transportation of elderly and child populations. The order also includes the obtainment of internet services for educational use. (April 3) 
  • Under the current declared emergency designation, the following personnel is considered essential during a disaster: petroleum distributors, food distributors, non-emergency medical facilities (such as dialysis centers), pharmaceutical providers, members of the media, medical facility support staff, and local government essential workers. (GEMA) 

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • The Georgia General Assembly passed SB 408, which allow the expansion of unemployment benefits continue even after the Governor ends the state of emergency at the end of June. (June 24) 
  • Governor Kemp signed an executive order mandating restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and other reopening businesses to take certain hygiene and distancing steps to protect their employees and the public. (April 27) 
  • Governor Kemp issued new guidance to merchants and ATM owners, which includes, encouragement to frequently clean and disinfect terminals and clean checkout and payment terminal areasGovernor Kemp also reiterated the shelter in place order allows businesses to suspend the use of PIN pads, PIN entry devices, electronic capture signature, and any other credit card receipt signature requirements if it is permitted by underlying credit card agency and company agreements. (April 5) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Kemp announced that Georgia was awarded an additional $13 million in dislocated worker relief funding. The funds will be allocated towards training services for laid-off workers across the state. (October 21) 
  • Governor Kemp announced that $1.5 billion in relief funding from the CARES Act would be allocated to repay borrowing for the Georgia Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. (October 16) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Kemp and the University of Georgia launched an informational website and webinars to help small business owners understand the funding available to them through the new COVID-19 Emergency Relief Package. (January 4) 
  • Governor Kemp signed a bill into law that shields businesses and health care providers from COVID-19-related lawsuits. (August 6) 
  • The Georgia General Assembly passed HB 879, which would allow home delivery of beer, wine, and liquor from restaurants, bars, convenience stores, and grocery stores. The bill will proceed to the Governor’s desk. (June 25) 
  • The Georgia Supreme Court issued a rule banning landlords that received funds from the CARES Act from seeking evictions against tenants for not paying rent. (May 1) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Kemp issued executive orders that extend Georgia’s Public Health State of Emergency until January 8 and renew current COVID-19 restrictions. (December 4) 
  • Governor Kemp signed an executive order that extends Georgia’s coronavirus restrictions. The new order allows restaurant and bar employees to return to work after 24 hours if they’re confirmed to be symptom-free after they were suspected of contracting COVID-19. (October 2) 
  • Governor Kemp issued new guidelines on long-term care facility visitations, easing restrictions and bringing the state’s rules in line with federal guidelines. (September 23) 
  • Governor Kemp extended an executive order that bans large gatherings and instructs the medically fragile to shelter in place. The order also allows for local mask mandates on public property. (August 17) 
  • Governor Kemp is expected to issue an executive order stating that local governments can’t order private businesses to require masks. It is also likely to remove a provision that explicitly outlawed cities and counties from mandating face coverings. (August 13) 
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order extending the Public Health State of Emergency and existing COVID-19 safety measures(August 3) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • The Georgia Department of Education released a revised guidance document on when schools should close in the fall in the event of a COVID-19 spike. (July 16) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Georgia colleges and universities that planned to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com