Updated April 21, 2020
Order for Certain Resumed Operations
GA issued a Order 4.20.20.01, effective April 24, 2020, which allows for resumed operations (including in-person operations) of certain businesses for “Minimum Basic Operations,” providing flexibility for healthcare practices and providing for emergency response. The Order suspends any county or municipal ordinance or order that is more or less restrictive than the Order. The Order is effective for the duration of the Public Health State of Emergency declared in Order 03.14.20.01.
Updated April 8, 2020
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued a renewal executive order extending the April 2, 2020 Shelter in Place Executive Order (and other COVID-19 executive orders) by 17 days until Thursday, April 30, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
Shelter in Place Executive Order
On April 2, 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an 11-day Shelter in Place Executive Order requiring state residents to shelter in place and permitting residents to engage in what the Order defines as Necessary Travel for certain defined Essential Services, as well as travel to and from critical infrastructure businesses and non-critical infrastructure businesses engaged in minimum basic operations, which are permitted to remain open provided they implement certain enumerated safeguards. The Order also imposes social distancing and sanitation requirements on all residents pursuant to detailed guidelines set forth in the Order and CDC guidelines. Critical Infrastructure business include those on the CISA List and the addition of several others. The Order also expressly preempts county, municipal, or local ordinances that may conflict with the Order, particularly with respect to Critical Infrastructure operations.
Summary of Order
- Georgia’s Shelter in Place Executive Order was issued on April 2, 2020 and takes effect at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020 through 11:59 PM on Monday, April 13, 2020.
- The Order requires that all residents and visitors of the State of Georgia shelter in place within their homes or places of residence and take every possible precaution to limit social interaction.
- Residents are permitted to engage in “Necessary Travel”, defined as travel:
- To conduct or participate in Essential Services (i.e., obtaining necessary supplies and services, engaging in essential health and safety activities, and engaging in outdoor exercise activities with appropriate social distancing);
- To conduct and participate in Critical Infrastructure Businesses and Minimum Basic Operations of other businesses.
- The shelter in place provision prohibits visitors except for certain medical, living services, supply services, and end-of-life purposes.
- Critical Infrastructure for purposes of the Order includes businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations referenced in the CISA List as well as:
- Suppliers that provide essential goods and services to the Critical Infrastructure workforce;
- Entities that provide:
- legal services,
- home hospice, and
- non-profit entities offering food distribution or health services.
- The Order expressly preempts any county, municipal, or local ordinance that may impede Critical Infrastructure operations.
- Non-Critical Infrastructure businesses may only engage in Minimum Basic Operations, which are limited to:
- The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of a business, establishment, corporation, non-profit corporation, or organization, provide services, manage inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions.
- Such minimum necessary activities also include remaining open to the public subject to the restrictions of the Order.
- The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees or volunteers being able to work remotely from their residences or members or patrons being able to participate remotely from their residences.
- Minimum Basic Operations are also defined to include operations where employees are working outdoors without regular contact with other persons, such as delivery services, contractors, landscape businesses, and agricultural industry services.
- Critical and non-Critical Infrastructure businesses must implement the following 16 safeguards:
- Screening and evaluating workers who exhibit signs of illness
- Requiring workers who exhibit signs of illness to not report to work or to seek medical attention;
- Enhancing sanitation of the workplace as appropriate;
- Requiring hand washing or sanitation by workers at appropriate places within the business location;
- Providing personal protective equipment as available and appropriate to the function and location of the worker;
- Prohibiting gatherings of workers during working hours;
- Permitting workers to take breaks outside and in areas where social distancing is attainable;
- Implementing teleworking for all possible workers;
- Implementing staggered shifts for all possible workers;
- Holding all meetings and conferences virtually;
- Delivering intangible services remotely;
- Discouraging workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment;
- Providing disinfectant and sanitation products for workers to clean their workspace, equipment, and tools;
- Prohibiting handshaking and other unnecessary person-to-person contact in the workplace;
- Placing notices that encourage hand hygiene at the entrance to the workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen;
- Suspending the use of PIN pads and other signature requirements to the extent permitted by credit card companies and credit agencies.
- In addition to the above 16 safeguards, non-Critical Infrastructure businesses must also implement the following four safeguards:
- Enforcing social distancing of non-cohabitating persons while present on such entity’s leased or owned property;
- For retailers and service providers, providing for alternative points of sale outside of buildings, including curbside pick-upor delivery of products and/or services if an alternative point of sale is permitted under Georgia law;
- Increasing physical space between workers and customers;
- Increasing physical space between workers’ worksites to at least 6 feet.
- The Order also explicitly closes and prohibits in-person operations for certain public facing retail and entertainment businesses, including gyms, bowling alleys, theaters, performance venues, amusement parks, grooming services, and bars.
- The State has issued a guidance and FAQ document for the Order.
Social Distancing Requirements
- All Georgia residents and visitors must practice social distancing and sanitation in accordance with the Order and guidelines published by the CDC.
- Visitors exempted from the shelter in place provision must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet between themselves and all other occupants of the residence and, as applicable and practicable, deliver items without in-person contact or entering the residence.
- Safeguards applicable to Critical Infrastructure businesses and non-Critical Infrastructure businesses are listed in the summary above.
- The Order’s visitation provisions shall be strictly enforced against nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, including inpatient hospice, assisted living communities, personal care homes, intermediate care homes, community living arrangements, and community integration homes.
- The Order may be enforced with assistance from the Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard and the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety as requested.
- The Order suspends enforcement of certain local and city ordinances and orders, and it mandates that no county or municipality shall adopt any similar ordinance or order while the state Order is in effect except to enforce compliance with the state Order.
- Officials enforcing the Order are directed to “take reasonable steps to provide notice” prior to issuing a citation or making an arrest.
Critical infrastructure sectors listed in CISA guidance (check list at link above for detailed list of worker functions):
- Healthcare / Public Health
- Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Other First Responders
- Food and Agriculture
- Energy — Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), Propane, and Other Liquid Fuels
- Water and Wastewater
- Transportation and Logistics
- Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services
- Communications and Information Technology
- Other Community- or Government-Based Operations and Essential Functions
- Critical Manufacturing
- Hazardous Materials
- Financial Services
- Defense Industrial Base
- Commercial Facilities
- Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services
- Hygiene Products and Services