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Gov. Kemp extends Public Health State of Emergency, ban on large gatherings

The state of emergency allows the state to continue purchasing PPE and run increased COVID-19 testing

ATLANTA — Editor's Note: The video in this story is from June 24 when Kemp issued a public update on COVID-19 via a social media post.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed two new executive orders Monday – one extending the state’s public health state of emergency and the other extending a ban on large gatherings without social distancing.

The first order extends the health emergency until the end of August 11, and allows for enhanced testing capability and supply gathering. It was previously scheduled to end Tuesday night.

"While we continue to see a decreasing case fatality rate, expanded testing, and adequate hospital surge capacity, in recent days, Georgia has seen an increase in new cases reported and current hospitalizations. Given these trends, I am extending previous COVID-19 safety requirements and guidelines that were due to expire on June 30 at 11:59 PM. Dr. Kathleen Toomey and the Department of Public Health, along with our local public health partners, will continue to monitor ongoing cases and related data to ensure that we are taking appropriate measures moving forward. Together, we can win the fight against COVID-19 and emerge stronger,” wrote Kemp.

The second order requires social distancing and continues the ban of gatherings of more than 50 people unless distancing is enforced. It also requires a continued shelter-in-place for the medically fragile and those in long-term care homes.

Additionally, it states that the State Board of Education must provide "rules, regulations, and guidance for the operation of public elementary and secondary schools for local boards of education" in accordance with guidance from Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the Department of Public Health, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The second order expires at 11:59 p.m. on July 15.

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