UPDATED: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp extends public health state of emergency

UPDATED with complete guidance

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp extends public health state of emergency

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has renewed the state’s public health state of emergency for the sixth time this year. This comes in response to COVID-19′s continued impact on Georgia.

Harris County resident Chris Randall said the extended order does not bother him.

“I think as long as people are taking the necessary precautions and just being mindful of people around them and proper sanitation and things of that nature, everybody should stay safe and I don’t think it’s too much of an impedance at this point,” said Randall.

Many of the guidelines and restrictions involving Georgia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic are the same including various social distancing, safety, sanitation related rules for businesses, bars and restaurants in Georgia.

“I do think we need to keep those guidelines in place. Number one, we have too many people ignoring the severity of this disease. We have way too many people ignoring it. They need to understand that it’s a serious disease and people are dying from it,” said Muscogee County resident Edward Russell.

There are only two notable changes for Georgians.

  1. The state will be following the CDC’s guidelines and allow restaurant and bar employees that are known or suspected of having a positive COVID-19 diagnosis to return to work once: 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving* *Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.
  2. The state will allow certain SAT/ACT test score deadlines to be extended for HOPE and Zell eligibility.

This public health state of emergency starts October 1 and ends November 9, unless renewed by Governor Kemp. You can read the full executive order below.

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story only mentioned the second of three guidelines for return to work (“once they have been symptom-free for 24 hours.”). This story has been updated to include: 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving* *Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation. WTVM regrets omission.

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