Governor Brian Kemp has signed an Executive Order allowing specified businesses to reopen in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines or Minimum Basic Operations restrictions.
All medical practices, dental practices, orthodontics practices, optometry practices, physical therapists, ambulatory surgical centers, physicians performing elective surgeries, healthcare institutions, medical facilities, and any and all other healthcare related practices and services that have elected to cease operations because of the spread of COVID-19 should begin treating patients as soon as practicable in accordance with CDC guidelines, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines, and the provisions of this Order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
All gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, estheticians, hair designers, and persons licensed to practice massage therapy may begin in-person Minimum Basic Operations on Friday, April 24, 2020. All such businesses shall implement measures which mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19. There are twenty (20) required mitigation measures included in Governor Kemp’s Executive Order (PDF) for these establishments to follow. Additionally, Minimum Basic Operations are limited to:
- The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of a business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, or organization, provide services, manage inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions. Such minimum necessary activities include remaining open to the public subject to the restrictions of the Order.
- The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees or volunteers being able to work remotely from their residences or members or patrons being able to participate remotely from their residences.
- Instances where employees are working outdoors without regular contact with other persons, such as delivery services, contractors, landscape businesses, and agricultural industry services.
As consistent with previous Executive Orders, no business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, organization, or county or municipal government shall allow more than ten (10) persons to be gathered at a single location if such gathering requires persons to stand or to be seated within six (6) feet of any other person.
The Governor’s Order supersedes all local ordinances passed since March 1, 2020 and states that no local ordinance can be more restrictive or less restrictive than this Executive Order. The Shelter in Place Order remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020. The Public Health State of Emergency remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 13, 2020.
As of 12:00 p.m. on April 21, 2020, Georgia has 19,881 confirmed cases and 364 in the Coastal Georgia Health District, including 27 in Camden County. Statewide there have been 799 deaths. Lab-confirmed case numbers may not show an accurate picture of the presence of COVID-19 in our community. Some people who have the virus do not have symptoms and would not be tested. It’s also possible that people with mild illness will not get tested. There are likely many more cases of infection than are reflected in the report.
The Coastal Georgia Health District has a testing hotline, 1-912-230-9744, for anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness or individuals who live or work in high-risk settings without symptoms to request COVID-19 tests. More information is available on the Camden County COVID-19 website at: camdencountyga.gov/COVID19.