ATLANTA — During a Monday afternoon press conference, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a shelter in place executive order requiring certain individuals with increased risk for complications from COVID-19 to isolate, quarantine or shelter in place. He also ordered for all bars and clubs to close. 

He said the order covers those who are living in long-term care facilities, have chronic lung disease, are undergoing cancer treatment, have a positive COVID-19 test, are suspected to have COVID-19 because of their symptoms and exposure or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

This comes as millions of Georgians are already hunkered down in their homes with schools out of session -- practicing social distancing. 

Kemp also ordered all bars and nightclubs in the state to close -- and is banning all gatherings of 10 or more people -- unless you are able to maintain six feet apart at all times. 

"These measures are intended to ensure the health and safety of Georgians across our state, and I ask for everyone’s cooperation over the next two weeks," Kemp said. "They will protect the medically fragile, mitigate potential exposure in public venues, and allow the state to ramp up emergency preparedness efforts as cases increase in each region."

He said the Department of Public Health will be empowered to close any business or establishment, nonprofit or organization for noncompliance. 

These new orders will go into effect at Noon on Tuesday, March 24 through April 6. 

Earlier on Monday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom told council members that she had a similar order in place -- but for all citizens to shelter in place. The governor asked her to hold off on executing it.

On Sunday, Dr. Carlos Del Rio, an executive associate dean for Emory at Grady, tweeted a plea to Gov. Kemp. Del Rio, an expert in pandemics and chair of the global health department at Emory University, tweeted to Kemp that:

“We need @GovKemp to act now, the point of ‘no return’ for GA is rapidly closing. To prevent a catastrophe in the healthcare system due to #COVID19 we need for him to shut down GA now.”

Earlier today, the Georgia House Democratic Caucus submitted a letter requesting Gov. Kemp sign an executive order for all citizens to shelter in place. 

At 11Alive News, our coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit 11alive.com/coronavirus-covid-19  for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about Georgia specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here.

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