Shelter-in-place order expired Thursday for non-medically fragile

Published 6:04 pm Thursday, April 30, 2020

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp extended the state’s public health state of emergency throughout June 12 on Thursday. The shelter-in-place order for non-medically fragile individuals expired Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

However, the governor still asked the public to continue to practice social distancing.

“Moving forward, I am urging Georgians to continue to stay home whenever possible,” Kemp said. “I want to thank the people of our great state who heeded public health advice, afforded us time to bolster our healthcare infrastructure and flattened the curve. We were successful in these efforts, but the fight is far from over.”

For businesses in the state that have been allowed to open, Kemp said they must continue to follow strict social distancing and sanitation rules to keep customers and employees safe through May 13. The governor’s order also keeps bars, nightclubs, public swimming pools, live performance venues and operators of amusement park rides closed until 11:59 p.m. on May 13.

Kemp said the extension of the public health emergency is to continue enhanced testing across the state, ramp up contract tracing and maintain effective emergency response.

“The health and well-being of Georgians are my top priorities, and my decisions are based on data and advice from health officials,” Kemp said. “I will do what is necessary to protect the lives — and livelihoods — of our people.”

Kemp also extended the shelter-in-place order for the medically fragile until June 12. Additionally, he ordered long-term facilities — including nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living facilities, and similar community living homes — to utilize enhanced infection control protocols, ensure safer living conditions and protect residents and staff from COVID-19 exposure.

Locally, LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton said he doesn’t expect to see much change locally even with the shelter-in-place order expiring for most individuals.

“I think that people are still both being encouraged and choosing to stay in to avoid as much contact as they can,” he said.

Thornton added that he thinks most people in public should be wearing a mask if possible. He said they should continue to use hand sanitizer, wash their hands regularly and practice good hygiene. Also, he said people should avoid gatherings, regardless of there is a ban in place or not.

Troup County Board of Commissioners Chairman Patrick Crews said he didn’t think the shelter in place order would be extended. However, he said the county has its own concerns like how to manage the senior centers in each city, how to reopen recreational activities and what to do with courthouse business.

“We have local areas here that we have to be concerned with,” he said.