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Kemp: no quarantine, business closing orders yet

Governor says such decisions should remain local

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Thursday the state doesn’t plan to order businesses to close or to issue quarantine or “shelter in place” orders.  

He did say the state is planning for shortages in medical supplies and hospital bed space in response to an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Kemp spoke from a podium in the Capitol with no reporters present, but he took some questions submitted online and emphasized he hopes to stop short of some steps taken by other states.

"At this time, I do not plan to issue a statewide mandatory quarantine," Kemp read from a prepared statement. "I continue to call on locals to take the appropriate action in the communities."

By noon Wednesday, Georgia had conducted 1508 tests.  By noon Thursday, the total was 1831.  Of those, a total of 287 confirmed COVID-19 – a positive rate of nearly 16 percent that had risen slightly in the last day.

We are seeing community transmission in hotspot areas," said Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia's public health commissioner. "So in some ways, the message we’re trying to get out to everyone is that testing is important but the most important thing the public can do is is follow guidelines, don’t go out, honor social distancing requests."

Gov. Kemp said he has asked the federal government to keep a space it opened at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Cobb County for more COVID-19 cases once the last passengers there from a stricken cruise ship have left.

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