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'Four Things for Fall': Gov. Kemp urges Georgians to follow COVID guidelines over holiday season

The Georgia governor updated the public ahead of Thanksgiving and the holiday season.
Credit: AP Photo/Elijah Nouvelage, File

ATLANTA — Governor Brian Kemp is urging the state of Georgia to continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines throughout the holiday season.

“We cannot grow weary, we have to keep our foot on the gas in this fight,” Kemp said.

Just two days before Thanksgiving, the Georgia governor joined Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey, GEMA and Homeland Security Director Chris Stallings and Georgia Department of Insurance Commissioner John King for a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

Kemp says he wants to remind Georgians to stay vigilant as the year winds down. He and Toomey re-emphasized the “Four Things for Fall.”

  • Wear a mask
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Follow the guidance of public health officials detailed in the Executive Orders.

“In light of the holidays, we’re asking all Georgians to continue to do a few simple things to help limit the spread of the virus,” Kemp said.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, people should socially distance from people they don’t normally see, consider gathering virtually for the holiday, celebrate outdoors, and consider the risk of including high-risk loved ones in gatherings, Kemp says.

“We’ve got to continue to celebrate good times even in the tough times we’re in now,” Kemp said.

Toomey reinforced Kemp’s suggestions, saying every time a holiday approaches, the state sees COVID-19 numbers increase.

She warned state residents to not use a negative COVID-19 test as a justification to not follow guidelines.

“If you get tested today and you’re negative; it does not mean that you will not be positive in a day or two or three,” Toomey said.

With pharmaceutical companies like Pfzier and Moderna announcing COVID-19 vaccine updates, Kemp says the state is prepared for a vaccine and has a plan to distribute it when it becomes available.

King says they state is focusing on the “most vulnerable in the community” and they’re still working on fine-tuning that distribution.

“I know that Americans and Georgians are ready for it,” he said, “When it’s ready to be shipped, the state will be able to deploy the vaccine.”

Toomey says the state will not make a vaccine mandatory, since it would be distributed as emergency use.

“At this time, that is not even on the table,” Toomey said.

She says the state will take a vaccine mandate into consideration once it is not listed as emergency use.

Kemp says Georgia residents have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.

“Wish you all a very healthy happy, safe and I hope, Zoomed thanksgiving,” Toomey said.