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Kemp signs executive order requiring at-risk population to self-isolate

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed multiple executive orders Monday, including requiring individuals with an increased risk of complications from COVID-19 to isolate, quarantine or shelter in place.

Kemp said the order covers individuals living in long-term care facilities, that have chronic lung disease, anyone undergoing cancer treatments, have a positive COVID-19 test, or are suspected to have a positive COVID-19 test because of their symptoms or exposure or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

Another executive order closes all bars and nightclubs in the state and bans all gatherings of 10 or more people unless a space of six feet can be maintained between them at all times.

Kemp said the department of public health will be empowered and can close any business, establishment or nonprofit for non-compliance. He said the measures were developed using guidance from the public health department and Center for Disease Control. The order goes into effect at noon on Tuesday and will expire at noon on Monday, April 6.

Another order suspends restrictions against the practice of medicine by individuals whose licenses became inactive or lapsed within the past five years. The order also allows graduate nursing students who have yet to take their licensing exams to seek temporary licensure through the Georgia Board of Nursing.

“These measures are intended to ensure the health and safety of Georgians across our state, and I ask for everyone’s cooperation over the next two weeks,” Kemp said. “They will protect the medically fragile, mitigate potential exposure in public venues, and allow the state to ramp up emergency preparedness efforts as cases increase in each region.”

Kemp said the fight against COVID-19 is far from over, and he asked residents in the state to band together.

“I am calling on my fellow citizens to fight this virus with everything you’ve got,” he said. “We are all part of this solution. If your friends, neighbors, or local organizations are not complying, call them out, or report them to us. If an establishment isn’t following these directives, take your business elsewhere.”