ATLANTA, Ga – Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter in place order took effect on Friday, April 3 at 6 p.m. and will last until Monday, April 13, unless otherwise extended. The order came after Kemp reportedly just learned about asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19.
Under the shelter in place order, Kemp placed travel restrictions on residents except for “essential services,” “minimal basic operations,” and “critical infrastructure” workers.
Residents can only receive visitors that provide essential services – medical and supplies, end-of-life care, and items necessary for daily life. Visitors must maintain six feet of distance from residents. These directives will be strictly enforced in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Essential services include necessary provisions trips to stores and pharmacies, medical visits, emergency services, and outdoor exercise – six feet apart from others. Citizens are encouraged to use delivery and curbside services over in-store shopping.
Critical Infrastructure is identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, such as home care, hospice, suppliers, legal services, health care, food banks, and non-profit mental health services. Local ordinances can’t impede these organizations.
Minimum Basic Operations include the bare necessities in order to maintain businesses as well as allow them to remain open under the order. Remote work and outside jobs like landscaping, agriculture, contractors, and delivery services are still possible under the order.
All Critical and Non-Critical Infrastructure businesses must implement the following mitigation measures:
- Screen workers for sickness including fevers of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or more, cough, and shortness of breath.
- Workers who exhibit symptoms must stay home.
- Regular sanitation of business and place hand sanitation encouragement in visible areas.
- Required employee handwashing or sanitation as appropriate places in business.
- Provide protective equipment as available and appropriate.
- Prohibit employee gatherings while at work.
- Permit breaks to be taken outside, individual’s office desk, or where social distancing is possible.
- Implement telework for all possible employees and hold all meetings virtually.
- Stagger shifts.
- Deliver intangibles remotely when possible.
- Discourage workers from using other employees’ phones.
- Prohibit handshakes.
- Suspend use of PIN pads for entry, electronic signature capture, and any other credit card receipt signature requirements.
- Enforce social distancing
- Provide an alternate point of sale for retailers and service providers
- Increase distance between customers and employees.
- Provide disinfectant and sanitation tools to employees.
- Create six feet of distance between workspaces.
Restaurants, diners, bars, social clubs, gyms, bowling alleys, theaters, venues, salons, body art studios, and massage parlors are now closed until the order ends. Takeout, curbside, and delivery are permitted. This doesn’t apply to health care or nursing home cafeterias, but in-room dining is strongly encouraged.
If an emergency that requires residents to leave their homes, then the shelter in place order can be overlooked.
On April 3, Kemp deputized local law enforcement to ensure everyone follows the shelter in place order.
Local government can’t pass any ordinances that don’t fall in line with the shelter in place order. They can, however, pass ordinances that “enforce compliance with the order.”