Georgia’s Governor Issues Executive Orders to Address COVID-19
Executive Order 3.14.20.01
On March 14, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp declared a Public Health State of Emergency in the State of Georgia due to the COVID-19 crisis. Pursuant to Georgia law, this declaration activated and consolidated in the Governor an extensive array of powers. It also suspended certain medical licensing procedures to expedite the ability of out-of-state healthcare professionals to legally operate within Georgia, and it relaxed certain trucking restrictions concerning load weight and driver rest times to minimize disruptions to the supply chain. The Governor’s declaration was confirmed in a special session of the legislature on March 16, 2020. On April 8, 2020, the State of Emergency was extended until May 13, 2020.
Executive Order 3.16.20.01
On March 16, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp ordered all public elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools closed as of March 18, 2020. The school closures were extended on March 26, 2020 and eventually made permanent through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
Executive Order 3.23.20.01
On March 23, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp ordered all “medically fragile” citizens to shelter-in-place. He also ordered all bars closed and prohibited any establishment from allowing groups of 10 or more people to gather within the establishment unless a distance of at least 6 feet between people could be maintained.
Executive Order 04.02.20.02
On April 2, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp ordered that all citizens and visitors of Georgia shelter-in-place. Pursuant to this Order, individuals should only leave their home to: conduct or participate in Essential Services; perform Necessary Travel; perform the Minimum Basic Operations for a business not classified as Critical Infrastructure; or engage in the work of Critical Infrastructure. By order issued on April 8, 2020, these restrictions were extended until April 30, 2020.
The April 2 Order clarified that Essential Services include (1) obtaining necessary supplies for family and household members, such as food; (2) seeking medical or other emergency services; and (3) engaging in outdoor exercise, so long as proper social distancing measures could be followed. The Order did not explicitly define what jobs or business were considered Critical Infrastructure. Instead, the Order relied on guidance from the Department of Homeland Security, which identified several categories of business as “Critical Infrastructure.” For assistance in determining whether your business qualifies as Critical Infrastructure, please do not hesitate to contact us for a more detailed analysis.
Copies of the Applicable Orders are Provided below:
For more information about the Georgia Governor’s emergency orders, or about any of the new developments in employment-related laws as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, please refer to the HGRS LLP Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center, at www.hgrslaw.com, or contact our firm at (404) 442-8776.