Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp isn’t wasting time when it comes to reopening businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, aiming to reopen many types of retailers by Friday (April 24), according to the Associated Press.
Kemp said he wants to reopen hair salons, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors and gyms by Friday. By Monday, movie theaters will be allowed to reopen, and restaurants could be allowed to resume limited dine-in services. Elective medical procedures will also be allowed.
Everything mentioned above, Kemp said, would have to follow proper social distancing procedures in reopening, with everyone staying at least six feet away from each other and hand washing occurring liberally, along with monitoring employee health. Kemp said it was necessary to help businesses begin getting more revenue coming in after weeks of inaction.
He said this wasn’t a matter of simply “throwing the keys” back to business owners, but of helping companies that had seen dramatic decreases in revenue. Bars, nightclubs and live performance venues will not open under these guidelines.
The idea is among the most aggressive in the country so far when it comes to a reopening timeline.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top pandemic expert, as well as numerous other health experts, have cautioned against this kind of speedy, robust action, saying it could result in another increase in infections.
But Kemp’s ideas for reopening are aligned fairly well with the government’s proposed rules, including 14 days of declining virus cases, of which Georgia will have had 10 on Friday if that continues. Kemp said waiting until Monday to allow sit-down restaurants would hopefully give more time to “flatten the curve.”
Kemp acknowledged that Georgia has been in the lower range of the country’s testing stats, with just 84,000 set through Monday.
Kemp will attempt to provide more testing, announcing that the state medical college in Augusta would begin producing more swabs. The school will also offer online consultations for those with symptoms, and the Georgia National Guard will administer around 1,500 a day for essential personnel, nursing homes and more.