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Kemp says state is not going to force a statewide quarantine
Governor waving the decision to close restaurants and bars up to local governments.
Brian Kemp
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. - photo by Submitted Photo

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp reiterated Thursday that the state of Georgia wouldn’t not be issuing a statewide quarantine.

Kemps made the announcement Thursday afternoon during an official briefing streamed on his Facebook page.

Also, Kemp says he has no plans to force bars and restaurants to close and is pleased most people have chosen to follow guidance to stay home. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms recently ordered the closure of all restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses where people congregate within the city limits. Kemp’s decision could change, but as of now he’s leaving it up to local municipalities.

“I am however leaning on the advice of medical professionals and scientists, as well as urging local officials to do what is in the best interest of their communities, to keep communities safe and to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” he said. “We are all in this fight together, and together we will emerge stronger than ever

The number of confirmed cases in Georgia jumped from 197 to 287 across 36 counties between Wednesday and Thursday and the number of deaths jumped from just 3 to 10. Those numbers are expected to continue growing in the coming days

“I absolutely expect the number of cases to rise of the coming weeks,” Kemp said. "The more we test, the more we're going to find.

Kemp noted that two highly attended funerals in Albany led to multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 in southwest Georgia.  Kemp continued to urge churches to move services online.

The Governor also noted that the state would be prioritizing test for those who are symptomatic, high-risk individuals, first responders and healthcare professionals. The state is now setting up more regional testing facilities being set up to help speed up the testing process.