Georgia - COVID-19 Covered

Georgia

Total Cases: 1,128,870 (June 14)
Tests Administered: 1,023,487 (March 7)
Fatalities: 21,158 (June 14)
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:

  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order that modified sanitation guidance for businesses and events, adding a requirement for restaurants, non-critical infrastructure businesses, and events to ensure their ventilation systems operate properly. (February 16) 
  • 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 the Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia would receive $15 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds for camp and after-school programs. (June 4) 
  • Governor Kemp announced that the Georgia Department of Labor would halt its issuance of federal unemployment benefits. (May 14) 
  • Governor Kemp and the Georgia Department of Education opened applications for the Families of Children with Special Needs Reimbursement program. (April 14) 
  • Governor Kemp announced more than $552 million in relief funding through the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. (February 19) 
  • Georgia was awarded an additional $13 million in relief funding to be used for 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 used 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 an executive order that eliminates remaining COVID-19 guidelines on restaurants, bars, conventions, childcare facilities, live performance venues, and other organizations. (June 1) 
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies, state service providers, and state properties from requiring COVID-19 vaccine passports. (May 26)  
  • Governor Kemp issued a new executive order lifting additional COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. (May 3) 
  • Governor Kemp signed several executive orders that would extend the Public Health State of Emergency, extend the current COVID-19 guidance with an additional provision allowing state agency employees to receive a COVID vaccine without using sick leave or annual leave, and roll back certain COVID-19 restrictions. (April 5) 
  • Governor Kemp announced that his administration would outline plans to rescind remaining COVID-19 restrictions, including capacity limits, restrictions on large-scale gatherings, and additional safety guidelines for restaurants, bars, and other venues. Changes are expected to take effect April 1. (March 29) 
  • Governor Kemp announced that all residents 16 years of age and older would be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 25. (March 24) 
  • Governor Kemp announced that judges and courtroom staff would be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (March 17) 
  • Governor Kemp signed a new executive order to outline revised COVID-19 safety guidelines, which combined restaurant and bar COVID-19 requirements to hold both types of establishments to the same standards. (March 15) 
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order extending the public health state of emergency through April 6. (March 1) 
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order extending guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia to March 15. This order also updated the state’s quarantine protocol to reflect CDC guidelines and clarified that entities considered both bar and a live performance venue should adhere to the COVID-19 guidance for bars. (March 1) 
  • Governor Kemp issued executive orders that renewed current COVID-19 restrictions and extended Georgias Public Health State of Emergency until January 8. (December 4) 
  • Governor Kemp signed an executive order that allowed 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 for 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 banning large gatheringsThe order also allowed for local mask mandates on public property. (August 17) 
  • Governor Kemp issued an executive order stating that local governments could not order private businesses to require masks. (August 13) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Kemp said he would sign an executive order restricting public schools from requiring students, teachers, and staff members to wear masks. (May 28) 
  • 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. 

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