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VERIFY: Is Georgia's price gouging statute in effect?

Some Macon shoppers claim grocery and gas prices have increased during COVID-19 pandemic.

MACON, Ga. — A Macon woman says she's seen higher prices on some items in groceries since the COVID-19 pandemic. 13WMAZ set out to verify if the state's gouging laws are in effect right now.

Mary Ann Chadwick says she went to the grocery store and was disappointed to see the price tag on certain items.

"Who can afford to pay $25? I've never seen a roast for $25 in my life," said Chadwick. 

She believes some businesses are increasing prices because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chadwick says shoppers have no choice but to buy what they need.

"We're having to stay in the house and we have to get groceries and we have to get gas," said Chadwick. 

Is Georgia's gouging statute in effect?

"I will declare a public health emergency for the state of Georgia. This declaration will greatly assist health and emergency management officials across Georgia," said Governor Brian Kemp. 

Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency because of the coronavirus more than a week ago.

The office of the attorney general says the state's price gouging statutes were activated when Governor Kemp signed the declaration.

So we verified the gouging law is in place, and Chadwick hopes people will follow it. 

"People are acting like this is the end of the world and it's not," said Chadwick. 

You can report a price gouging violation by filling out a complaint form with the Georgia Department of Law Consumer Protection Division.

Violators of the Price Gouging Statutes may be fined up to $5,000 per violation.

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