On June 11, Governor Kemp introduced an executive order, “Empowering a Healthy Georgia.” Those who are 65 and older no longer must shelter in place, unless they are in a long-term facility or are “medically fragile.” Effective June 16, restaurants no longer have a dining limit, and theaters have no seating limits. Salons and barbershops may now resume walk-in services. Bars may also now have 50 people inside. Gatherings of 50 or more people are banned unless social distancing of 6 feet is maintained. However, for gatherings of fewer than 50 people, social distancing requirements are no longer mandated. The public health emergency remains in effect until July 12.
In the wake of this executive order, it is critical to understand the current COVID-19 cases in Georgia. As of June 17, there are 60,030 confirmed corona cases in Georgia and 2,575 deaths. The top counties with confirmed cases are Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb, and Cobb. Between May 30 and June 12, there were on average 675.14 new confirmed cases a day, an increase from the previous 2 weeks. The number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 decreased over the past month. On June 10, there were 836 hospitalizations reported, compared to 1,500 on May 1.
Despite the easing of restrictions, Georgians should continue to follow CDC guidelines. One should still wear a mask when going into public areas, such as grocery stores. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol when washing is not an option. Avoid touching your face, especially when in public. Lastly, avoid close contact with other people, especially the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.