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Gov. Kemp signs new COVID-19 executive order with ventilation system guidance for businesses

The order comes in response to data showing that increased air circulation and purification reduce the spread of COVID-19.

MACON, Ga. — Governor Brian Kemp issued a new executive order updating Georgia COVID-19 guidelines.

The order would require restaurants and businesses to be sure their ventilation systems are operating correctly.

Governor Kemp says his latest order is in response to new information showing that better air circulation and purification can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 indoors.

“Having a more strict or particular filter in system, have been shown to make the air a little more safe,” said Michael Hokanson with North Central Health District.

The son of the owner of Guitarras Mexican Grill, a family-owned restaurant in north Macon, says the order won't affect them.

“Our restaurant filtration system is really good. I honestly don't think we need to do any changes,” said Luis Resendiz.

I asked if they had to, could they pay for an upgraded system.

“We could probably afford it, it just would be really difficult to.”

According to Jarett Davis, the general manager at Pruett Air Conditioning, the price for a new air conditioning system could start at $5,000.

He says there are cheaper alternatives like ionic air purifiers.

“Particles that typically will float around in the air -- this product will make it heavy enough to fall to the ground or heavy enough it'll get caught by the filer,” said Davis.

That would help remove COVID-19 particles from hanging in the air.

Hokanson said despite the governor’s order, there's still a risk of catching the virus in indoor settings.

“It's not a catch-all of this is going to make the environment 100% safe.”

According to the CDC, the risk of COVID-19 spread is high when eating inside a restaurant or bar.

Governor Kemp's current order is set to remain in effect until February 28th.