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Gov. Kemp signs new economic relief orders

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 7:53 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is signing two executive orders, laying the groundwork for the state to continue to recover and prosper.

Effective July 1st, the public health state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will end in the Peach State. Meaning people should no longer feel obligated to wear masks or social distance.

“It is really nice, it has been a long two years basically feeling kind of restricted so it is nice just to be able to get out and enjoy life,” sajd Camilla resident, Alex Carden.

“It is pretty great honestly,” said a Gainesville resident, Kelvin Reyes.

While residents say this is a good sign that life is returning to normal while others say they are still concerned.

“I still will be wearing my mask because I am being treated for cancer,” explained Lakita Morrow.

While the the public health state of emergency may be over, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is signing two new executive orders.

One order will allow the the Peach State additional economic benefits, for agencies like Public Health, to help make up for the negative financial burdens from the pandemic.

“It could provide us with extra funding for staffing for things like that going forward to continue efforts with COVID-19 vaccines,” explained Pam Kirkland with the Columbus Health Department.

The second order allows other agencies to continue certain things outlined in the original public health state of emergency. Like for courts, remote grand jury proceedings, and remote notarization.

Kirkland says COVID cases are the lowest they have been in nearly a year.

“...And now, to get on the other side of it we can finally catch our breaths and get back to doing things public health hasn’t been able to do and has been on the back burner,” followed Kirkland.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp says the state public health emergency is ending because more Georgians are getting a COVID vaccine. As of today, the vaccination rate in the Peach State is 37 percent.

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