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Statewide shelter-in-place to go into effect at 6 p.m. Friday

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The order requires Georgians to remain at home unless conducting or participating in essential services, performing necessary travel or are part of the workforce for critical infrastructure.

The new order allows people to travel to obtain necessary supplies, including food, medication, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation and essential maintenance of a home or residence.

Any business not considered critical infrastructure should only engage in “minimum basic operations” defined in the executive order. Some of those include processing payroll, ensuring security and managing inventory.

The shelter-in-place order will also supersede many of the orders passed by city and counties throughout the state. Those governments can still pass stricter rules.

You could face a misdemeanor if you are caught violating the order.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced Wednesday that he would sign the order saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directives had changed to advise that people could infect others even if they showed no symptoms.

“Those individuals could’ve been infecting people before they ever felt bad. Well, we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours and as Dr. (Kathleen) Toomey told me, this is a game-changer for us,” Kemp said.

Kemp has been taking criticism over those comments. A spokesperson for Kemp released a statement saying:

“They need to rise above the partisan attacks. The governor offered an update to Georgians, who are eager for new information to protect their families, on how public health officials are revising protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said they were left in the dark about what the order entailed.

Democratic state Sen. Nikema Williams is currently recovering home after contracting the coronavirus. Elliot spoke to her Thursday during a video chat.

“I contracted the virus a little over two weeks ago, and I am on the mend,” Williams said.

She said she spent part of Thursday afternoon on a legislative conference call with the governor’s office hoping to learn more about the shelter-in-place order.

She told Elliot she didn’t get the information she sought.

“Unfortunately, we still don’t have the details. Many Georgians across the state are still waiting to hear exactly what that means, and what they can do, which businesses are deemed essential and which ones are not,” Williams said.

Republican state Sen. Butch Miller defended Kemp’s approach, saying the administration wants to make sure every aspect of that shelter-in-place order is accurate and ready to go before he signs it.

“I think we’ll be seeing those details shortly, and I expect them to be comprehensive, and I think the biggest thing is making it consistent across jurisdictions, across counties, cities, etc. I think it will be very helpful for all of us,” Miller said.

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