Even as public health officials sound the alarm over a new wave of COVID-19 infections, Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order on Wednesday that will roll back many of Georgia’s pandemic restrictions beginning April 8.
The rollback will eliminate the gatherings ban and shelter-in-place requirements as well as reduce any remaining distance requirements at restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and fitness clubs.
In two other executive orders, Kemp extended the state’s public health state of emergency until April 30, allows state agency employees to get the vaccine without using sick leave, and the current pandemic restrictions until April 7 before the rollback goes into effect on April 8.
Kemp’s executive orders are available to read here.
With states removing pandemic restrictions and many people believing the arrival of the vaccine means the virus threat is over, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said cases are increasing across the country.
“What we’ve seen over the last week or so is a steady rise of cases,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on March 29. “I know that travel is up, and I just worry that we will see the surges that we saw over the summer and over the winter again.”
President Joe Biden has urged state and local officials to reconsider lifting their pandemic restrictions and to reinstate mask mandates.”I’m reiterating my call for every governor, mayor and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate,” Biden said.
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