Gov. Brian Kemp announced on Monday evening that he plans to sign an executive order closing all bars and nightclubs, banning all gatherings more than 10 people, and requiring all Georgians at high risk for COVID-19 to shelter-in-place. That includes the elderly, those with chronic lung disease, those who are undergoing cancer treatment, those who have pending or positive coronavirus test results and those who have come in contact with a coronavirus patient.
Gatherings over 10 people are permitted if participants are able to maintain 6 feet of distance between them.
The executive order will go into effect Tuesday at noon for two weeks.
Kemp said he will also suspend restrictions on medical licenses that have lapsed within five years and will allow graduate nurses who have not taken their exams will be allowed to seek temporary licensure to address “critical healthcare needs in the weeks ahead.”
“If your friends, neighbors or local organizations are not complying, call them out. Or report them to us,” Kemp said. “We cannot let this virus defeat us. We are stronger than this crisis and we will weather this storm.”
DeKalb County Declares State Of Emergency
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond just declared a state of emergency and issued an executive order that stops the county from shutting off residential water service for non-payment, places a moratorium on evictions, limits restaurants to take-out or delivery services, asks residents to take part in a “voluntary curfew” and bans public gatherings of 10 or more people.
This comes as Georgia’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 772 as of noon on Monday, and the death toll reached 25.
“We should replace our fears with a sense of realization,” Thurmond said as he announced the news conference Monday morning.
Bowling alleys, gyms, fitness centers, nail and beauty salons, barbers and other non-essential businesses are ordered to hold no more than 10 people at a time. Residents will also be asked to “shelter in place as much as possible,” and follow the “voluntary curfew’ from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day.
Funeral homes and indoor funeral gatherings are also limited to no more than 10 people.
DeKalb District Health Director Dr. S. Elizabeth Ford also spoke during the conference and said additional coronavirus tests will be received through the state to continue with screening.
“Those are still priority level screenings at this point because we are still lacking adequate testing to test every individual,” Dr. Ford said.
“Currently we are testing symptomatic individuals who have been referred by a hospital or their primary care physician. They will reach out to the board of health, the physician, and that individual will be provided with a PUI number [Person Under Investigation.]”
In the order, Thurmond also promised to allocate about $1.3 million towards job training and workforce assistance for those who have been displaced because of the pandemic.
“What our dislocated worker program will do for the unemployed is to provide direct and indirect assistance to men and women who find themselves unemployed and seeking additional training, virtually,” Thurmond said.
“So when the economy returns, they can find employment and support for their families.”
Thurmond said during the conference that anyone who has become unemployed amid the coronavirus pandemic can go to the DeKalb Work Source website and apply for the program.
The County will also give $400,000 to the DeKalb Works Summer Youth Employment Program to raise the number of kids who get job training from 400 to 800.
Ga. Better Business Bureau: Support Small Business
The Better Business Bureau is asking Georgians to remember small business owners during this time of social distancing.
The small business organization says the public can support local businesses, even without spending money.
The Better Business Bureau reminds consumers that all types of local businesses still need support.
People are being urged to try takeout services, attend a virtual class or if a refund is offered from a local play or event, donate the amount right back to the organization.
Another option the agency suggests is to commit to future work, for when businesses reopen and social distancing is no longer necessary.
Better Business Bureau
APS Steps Up Food Service
Atlanta Public Schools is busing food and has doubled the number of distribution sites it has for meals.
APS is offering a “drive-thru style for service” for parents with their children at these sites Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.:
- Booker T. Washington High School – 45 Whitehouse Dr. SW, Atlanta, GA 30314
- Bunche Middle School – 1925 Niskey Lake Rd., SW, Atlanta, GA 30331
- Cleveland Avenue Elementary School – 2672 Old Hapeville Rd., SW, Atlanta, GA 30315
- Douglass High School – 225 Hamilton E Holmes Dr., NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
- Hope-Hill Elementary School – 112 Boulevard NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
- King Middle School – 545 Hill St SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
- Phoenix Academy (formerly Alonzo Crim High School) – 256 Clifton St., SE, Atlanta, GA 30317
- Sylvan Hills Middle School – 1461 Sylvan Rd., SW, Atlanta, GA 30310
- Thomasville Heights Elementary School – 1820 Henry Thomas Dr. SE, Atlanta, GA 30315
- Young Middle School – 3116 Benjamin E Mays Dr. SW, Atlanta, GA 30311
They’ll have breakfast and lunch to-go bags, fresh produce provided by Goodr, and shelf-stable foods provided by the Atlanta Community Food Bank
APS will also serve youth with special needs under the age of 22 and is distributing food via bus route. Find a full list of those food delivery stops and times here.
DeKalb County: Stop Flushing Paper Towels And Wipes
DeKalb County officials are warning residents that flushing excess paper towels and wipes down the toilet is clogging the aging sewer system.
The coronavirus pandemic has created a shortage of toilet paper on store shelves. That has lead people to use paper towels or wipes as alternatives.
Watershed management officials say that especially during this COVID-19 crisis, it’s important to prevent these items from causing sewer spills and spreading disease.
And even wipes marketed as flushable should be disposed of in the trash.
SW Georgia Hospital Posts Mask-Making Instructions
A Georgia hospital system has put instructions online so people can make and donate face masks, as overwhelmed hospitals are still short on protective gear to fight the coronavirus.
The Phoebe Putney Health System says employees started turning surgical sheets into reusable masks.
The health system runs four hospitals in the Albany area.
Phoebe health officials reported more than 100 positive COVID-19 cases and six deaths from the virus, as of noon Sunday.
The system has reserved all three of the main hospital’s ICUs for coronavirus patients.