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01 Dec 2020 | 11:07 AM UTC

US: Officials in Georgia extend current coronavirus disease restrictions through at least December 15

Officials in Georgia extend current coronavirus disease restrictions through at least December 15; follow authority directives

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has extended restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through at least Dec. 15. Under the current statewide directives, residents at higher risk of severe illness, including those who live in long-term care facilities, must shelter in place within their residences, except to perform essential tasks. Gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted, and more than 50 people are allowed to gather if participants comply with social distancing measures.

Restaurants and dining rooms may operate without capacity limits but must keep tables separated by at least 1.8 meters (six feet), or with physical barriers. Bars shall not exceed 35-percent capacity or more than 50 customers at a time. Personal care services may work without appointments. Live performance venues may operate and indoor events for over 100 people are allowed. Professional, collegiate, and high school sports teams may hold activities, and other businesses such as gyms, retail stores, and nightclubs can open provided they comply with social-distancing guidelines.

The city of Atlanta remains in Phase 2 of Georgia's reopening plan. Under these guidelines, all persons should practice social distancing, and residents should stay home except to perform essential tasks. Gatherings are limited to 10 people with social-distancing measures in place. The citywide facemask mandate remains in effect.

State authorities strongly encourage residents to wear protective facemasks while in public; local officials have the power to issue mask mandates if their jurisdiction meets a threshold of 100 or more COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the previous 14 days.

All operating businesses and facilities must comply with specific mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including enhancing sanitation procedures, adhering to social distancing standards, and performing health screening on workers and customers. Specific requirements may vary by industry.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.  

Advice

Heed the instructions of the authorities. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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