Georgia - COVID-19 Covered

Georgia

Total Cases: 47,899 (June 2)
Tests Administered: 471,631 (June 1)
Fatalities: 2,089 (June 2)
Testing:
  • Governor Kemp announced that the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency sent 5,013 testing kits to Georgia nursing homes. (May 26)
  • The Georgia National Guard will partner with the Georgia Department of Public Health and Augusta University to assist COVID-19 testing facilities. (May 21)
  • The White House announced that that Georgia will receive over $260 million in federal funding to increase its testing capacity. (May 14)
  • Governor Kemp has lifted all requirements for COVID-19 testing, regardless if someone has symptoms. (May 8)
  • Governor Kemp announced a partnership with Walmart and eTrueNorth to launch a mobile testing program for COVID-19 in communities with limited access to testing. (April 26)
  • Governor Kemp promoted the AU Health ExpressCare app as a free option for Georgians that suspect they have COVID-19 to receiving screening from a medical professional virtually. If the healthcare staff believes the individual could have COVID-19, they will be scheduled for a test at a designate location. (April 24)
  • The Georgia Department of Public Health has announced a contact tracing program. (April 22)
  • The Georgia Department of Public Health will track the number of COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities. (April 14)
  • Governor Kemp announced that the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency and the Georgia Department of Public Health will collaborate to provide a list of COVID-19 cases in each jurisdiction to 911 centers. (April 14)
  • Governor Kemp announced a laboratory surge capacity plan to increase COVID-19 testing capacity. The state will leverage the collective laboratory resources of the University System of Georgia, Georgia Public Health Laboratory, and Emory University. (March 31)

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton is restarting cases and reinstating filing deadlines. (May 21)
  • Georgia has agreed to partner with Pacific Architects and Engineers to build a 200-hospital bed alternate care facility at the Georgia World Congress Center. (April 12)
  • Georgia’s Secretary of State postponed Georgia’s spring primary election to June 9. (April 9)
  • 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)
  • Governor Kemp activated the Georgia National Guard in order to combat COVID-19. (March 27)
  • Governor Kemp indicated he would suspend rules to allow health care workers to quickly gain licenses in Georgia and lift restrictions on commercial truck drivers during the state of emergency. (March 20)
  • Under the current declared emergency designation, the following personnel are 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:

  • Governor Kemp announced that the state is producing a filming best practices guide for the film and television industry once filming resumes in Georgia. (May 22)
  • Governor Kemp announced the launch of Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Georgia Suppliers Interactive Map and List, which is a list and interactive map of Georgia companies that are providing businesses with needed PPE materials. (May 18)
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Georgia’s second request for a Medicaid 1135 waiver to allow Georgia to reimburse for personal care provided by legally responsible individuals, including family caregivers. (May 13)
  • Governor Kemp has suspended road test requirements for individuals seeking driver’s licenses. (April 30)
  • Georgia is offering free N95 mask decontamination services to healthcare facilities. (April 29)
  • 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)
  • The Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barber instructed businesses to follow the OSHA “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” including instituting temperature checks of employees when necessary, screening customers, limiting occupancy, disinfecting, using PPE, and promoting social distancing. (April 22)
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order opening designated businesses including some theaters, restaurants, barbershops, salons, and gyms. Screening will be required for employees with shortness of breath, a fever, or a cough. Increased sanitation, PPE use, and other safety measures are required to be taken by businesses. (April 20)
  • Governor Kemp announced a plan to partner with Jackson Healthcare to bring approximately 570 healthcare professionals to health facilities in Georgia. (April 14)
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order designating healthcare institutions and medical facility employees, staff, and contractors as “auxiliary emergency management workers.” This ensures that auxiliary emergency management workers” engaging in “emergency management activities” have limited civil liabilities if their actions result in the death of a patient. (April 14)
  • 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 areas. Governor 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)
  • The University System of Georgia (USG), Governor Kemp, and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency partnered to offer temporary housing to traveling nurses assisting at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Georgia. (April 3)
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order allowing the use of real-time audio-visual communication technology for the notarizing of real estate documents. (March 31)
  • Governor Kemp extended temporary licensing for medical professionals whose licensing lapsed within the last 5 years. (March 23)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Kemp announced that the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) Office of Workforce Development was awarded a $12 Million Dislocated Worker Grant by the U.S. Department of Labor. (May 14)
  • Georgia State University fiscal researchers released a report predicting that Georgia could lose up to $1.27 billion in sales tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 13)
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order expanding the state’s Department of Treasury power to act as a “prudent investor” to “maintain liquidity and preserve capital” in protecting the state and public fiscal health. (March 31)
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order that transferred $35,000,000 from the Governor’s Emergency Fund to cover costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. (March 30)
  • President Trump accepted Georgia’s disaster declaration, making the state eligible for additional federal assistance. (March 29)
  • Governor Kemp signed an executive order that would allow unemployed Georgians to collect unemployment pay for 26 weeks instead of 14 weeks and would allow someone who finds a job to earn up to $300 a week before their earnings count against the unemployment pay. (March 26)
  • Governor Kemp signed HB792 into law, which transferred $100 million from the Revenue Shortfall Reserve to combat the spread of the coronavirus within Georgia. (March 17)

Business Support & Resources:

  • 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)
  • Governor Kemp requested that any businesses that are capable, help Georgia provide, produce, distribute, or store critical health care items. (March 24)
  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that Invest Atlanta will be offering emergency small business loans ranging from $500 to $30,000. (March 23)
  • Governor Kemp announced Georgia’s Coronavirus Task Force Committees, which includes a Committee on Economic Impact. (March 20)
  • Georgia has received an official statewide disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration allowing small businesses to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. (March 19)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • Governor Kemp signed an executive order outlining safety, health and social distancing guidance for individuals, businesses, employees, and other reopening facilities. (May 28)
  • Governor Kemp extended the state of emergency through July 12. (May 28)
  • Governor Kemp signed an executive order requiring bars, nightclubs and live performance venues to remain closed through May. Restaurant capacity restrictions were relaxed to allow for table size maximums to increase from six to 10. The number of children allowed in a single classroom at a childcare facility was doubled to 20. Summer camps are being allowed to resume if they followed 32 health and safety guidelines. (May 12)
  • Governor Kemp extended the state of emergency declaration to June 12 despite allowing the shelter in place order to lapse on April 30. Governor Kemp also ordered vulnerable populations to shelter in place through June 12 and created additional hygiene regulations for long term care facilities. (April 30)
  • Governor Kemp signed an executive order that gave guidance for specific protective measures to be undertaken by food service, entertainment, and other reopening businesses. The order outlined inspection timeless for food service, defined food establishments, and regulated indoor theater seating. (April 27)
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order outlining sanitation, social distancing, and worker health guidelines for businesses that are reopening. (April 23)
  • Governor Kemp announced that Georgia will be reopening some businesses on April 24, including gyms, bowling alleys, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, and other similar businesses. He will allow the statewide shelter-in-place order to expire on April 30, with the elderly and medically fragile patients having to continue to shelter-in-place. (April 20)

Curfews:

  • No records found.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • Governor Kemp announced that NASCAR will be allowed to resume competitions without fans in the state starting June 7 with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. (May 14)
  • The Georgia Department of Public Health issued seven pages of health and safety guidance for reopening public pools. (May 13)
  • Governor Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health urged individuals to wear face masks in public, social distance, and wash their hands often. (May 1)
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order suspending regulations against people using masks or other face coverings that conceal their identity. (April 14)
  • Governor Kemp ordered that assisted living communities and nursing homes restrict nearly all visitors, cancel internal and external group, activities, and provide for in room dining when feasible. (April 8)

Delivery Services:

  • Governor Kemp has indicated that bars and nightclubs could reopen in June with increased safety guidelines in place. (May 28)
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order allowing for the reopening of restaurants for dine-in services with certain restrictions and health guidelines. (May 12)
  • Governor Kemp issued an order closing bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. Takeout, delivery, and pickup would be allowed. (April 2)

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • Governor Kemp announced that summer schools could resume in June if schools can keep students separated in classrooms and routinely sanitize facilities. (May 28)
  • The Georgia High School Association will allow high school sports activities to begin to resume on June 8. (May 21)
  • Governor Kemp announced that overnight summer camps can reopen with certain safety precautions like testing all campers and workers for COVID-19 before admission. (May 21)
  • Georgia announced that the state will send 448 mobile Wi-Fi devices to three dozen school districts that will be mounted on roving buses. (May 12)
  • The U.S. Department of Education has approved the Georgia Superintendent’s request to waive mandatory state standardized tests. (April 7)
  • Governor Kemp stated that he will be issuing an order to close all Georgia schools until the end of the current school year. (April 1)
  • The Georgia Board of Education passed several waivers allowing districts to either postpone or cancel year-end testing, permitting districts that decide to issue the Georgia Milestone Test to reduce the impact on students’ final grades, allowing districts to alter class sizes, permitting districts to reduce the number of days in the school year, and reducing promotion and graduation requirements. (March 27)
  • Governor Kemp reduced restrictions for Child Care Learning Centers and Family Child Learning Homes. (March 24)

State Higher Education:

  • The Georgia State Department of Athletics announced that they would begin reopening athletic facilities June 1 in accordance with guidance from Governor Kemp and the University System of Georgia. (May 29)
  • All University of Georgia athletes returning to campus beginning June 8, must be tested for COVID-19. (May 22)
  • The chancellor of the University System of Georgia projected that COVID-19 related cancelations and closures could cost the university system approximately $350 million. (April 14)
  • Governor Kemp ordered all public colleges to close. The state university system announced that its 26 public colleges and universities would shift all classes online for the remainder of the spring semester, “with extremely limited exceptions.” (March 16)

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