Kemp extends shelter in place order through April 30

Published 7:39 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp extended his shelter-in-place executive order Wednesday as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state crept near 10,000 by the time of his news conference.

The extension of the order comes a week after Kemp originally signed the order on April 1.

Also, during the news conference, Kemp announced he’s also signing an executive order to ban short-term vacation rentals starting Thursday temporarily.

“I have also heard the concerns of many hardworking Georgians, including local elected officials, who fear that our state will become a vacation destination,” Kemp said.

The term ‘vacation rental’ means any transaction to lease or license residential property for residential or vacation purposes, facilitated by a third party or broker for thirty days or less between a corporation, partnership, person, or other entity and a private person. Kemp said there are exceptions to the order. It doesn’t include hotels, including extended stay hotels, motels or campgrounds.

The order also doesn’t include any vacation rental, which has been paid for and agreed to before noon on Thursday. It also does not apply to leases for property to be used as someone’s primary place of residence.

“All state, county, and local law enforcement are authorized to enforce this order, but at no time shall law enforcement or any other state or local official be allowed to dispossess or evict occupants of a vacation rental,” Kemp said.

The governor also signed another executive order mandating more aggressive infection control measures at long-term care facilities across Georgia.

Kemp’s said visitors and non-essential personnel are prohibited in long-care facilities except in compassionate care situations. Facilities must provide in-room dining services, if able. Employees must wash or sanitize their hands after any interaction with a resident. Facilities must implement protocols to screen residents for fever and respiratory symptoms, and employees must be screened before starting a shift. If an employee is exposed, to the extent feasible, he or she must self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to work.

Kemp also renewed the public health emergency declared in March to be extended through May 13. It was set to expire Monday.

“This measure will allow us to deploy more resources to communities in need, lend support to frontline medical providers, and keep preparing as we brace for potential patient surge in our healthcare facilities,” he said.

Additionally, Kemp signed another executive order to activate 1,000 additional National Guard members to assist in the COVID-19 emergency response throughout the state.