Coronavirus

Coronavirus Updates: Georgia Labor Department Extends Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits usually run out for Georgians after 14 weeks, but using a mix of federal and state money, the Department of Labor is extending the time people can get unemployment by 26 weeks.
Unemployment benefits usually run out for Georgians after 14 weeks, but using a mix of federal and state money, the Department of Labor is extending the time people can get unemployment by 26 weeks.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press
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First-time unemployment claims were down last week in Georgia by 14,000, but there were still more than 135,000 claims.

The department of labor also extended benefits as the unemployment rate remains high due to the pandemic.

Unemployment benefits usually run out for Georgians after 14 weeks, but using a mix of federal and state money, the Department of Labor is extending the time people can get unemployment by 26 weeks. That’s only for the state portion of unemployment, which has a maximum right now of $365 a week.

Many people are currently getting an additional $600 from the Federal government under the Cares Act. That money will currently run out July 31, unless congress decides on an extension. Georgia’s unemployment rate for May was 12%.

The comes at the Georgia Departement of Health confirmed more than 55,700 cases of COVID-19 in the state and 2,418 deaths as of 3 p.m. Friday.

The CDC Releases Long-Waited Guidelines

The CDC also has released a series of long-awaited tips for how to reduce the risk of catching the coronavirus in everyday life.

The agency posted the guidelines earlier Friday, and among them are advice to wear a cloth face covering when in public, consider taking the stairs instead of riding in elevators with others, and use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol after using an ATM.

The CDC also posted tips for organizing and attending big gatherings such as concerts, sporting events, protests and political rallies.

The agency’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield, called the new guidelines “common sense suggestions,” not mandates.

Georgia Supreme Court Issues Guidelines As It Reopens

New guidelines have been issued by the Georgia Supreme Court as it reopens during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Those standards include requiring people to wear masks and to stay 6 feet apart in courtrooms.

They also direct courts to stick to virtual hearings as much as possible.

It was March when the state’s chief justice ordered courts to stop most operations because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That emergency order expires Friday.

Georgia Colleges Working On Reopening Plans

Many Georgia colleges and universities hope to resume in-person instruction and are working on plans to reopen this fall.

Both Emory University and the University of North Georgia are expected to resume face-to-face classes in August.

Emory says classes will end by Thanksgiving–with online exams. Both will also roll out new safety measures to protect students from the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the state’s public university system is working on re-opening plans that include in-person classes…based on guidance from Governor Brian Kemp’s COVID-19 task force.

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