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Gov. Kemp announces public health emergency is extended through July 12

The governor held a COVID-19 briefing Thursday.

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp is extending the public health state of emergency until July 12.

It's the third time the governor has renewed the state's first-ever public health emergency.

"This declaration plays a critically important role in our battle against COVID-19. It allows for enhanced partnerships between the private and public sectors for our healthcare infrastructure, procurement of supplies, and coordination across all levels of government," Kemp said.

Watch him make the announcement in the news conference below.

Kemp said the state is slowly transitioning into a "new normal," with business and several state agencies beginning to "phase" into limited in-person operations. 

"This progress is encouraging as we fight to stop the spread and revive our economy. But the status quo is never acceptable. We cannot rest on our laurels," Kemp said. "From Day One of this journey, we have used data, science, and the advice of healthcare professionals like Dr. Toomey to chart our path forward. Our next step - like the ones before - puts the health and well-being of the citizenry first."

The address comes as the last business closings ordered by the governor - applying to bars, nightclubs, performance venues and amusement parks - are set to expire on Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

The governor has twice extended the restrictions on those businesses, first at the end of April when he lifted his shelter-in-place order and again in mid-May, when the first extension was about to expire.

RELATED: Holiday weekend leads to surge at Atlanta nightspots

In addition to announcing the extension of the public health emergency, Kemp said the shelter-in-place order for Georgians who are 65 and older, or who are medically fragile, will continue through June 12, except for essential activities.

Finally, Kemp also announced that the state would be relaxing limits on the size of public gathers from 10 to 25 people. He also moved to allow bars, nightclubs, overnight camps, summer classes and sporting events to resume operations, with strict limitations.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.

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