Governor Brian Kemp’s announcement to reopen many of Georgia’s nonessential businesses this week is being met with criticism.
Citing “favorable data & more testing,” Kemp declared Monday on Twitter that “gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians, their respective schools & massage therapists” in the state can resume their operations beginning Friday, April 24.
These businesses, however, must practice “minimum basic operations” which “includes, but is not limited to, screening workers for fever and respiratory illness, enhancing workplace sanitation, wearing masks & gloves if appropriate, separating workspaces by six feet, teleworking if possible & implementing staggered shifts.”
Additionally, theaters, private social clubs, and restaurant dine-in services in Georgia can reopen on Monday, April 27, if they comply by social distancing and sanitation mandates — the specifics of which will be announced in the upcoming days.
Bars, nightclubs, amusement parks, and live performance venues will remain closed. Kemp also noted that Georgia residents are still under the state’s Stay at Home order, which will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 30.
However, not all of Georgia’s public officials are in agreement with Kemp’s plan.
Monday night, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms spoke to CNN’s Chris Cuomo saying she was “concerned” and “perplexed” by his decision, as she believes it’s not “based on anything that’s logical.”
Though noting that she has “a great working relationship with our governor,” Bottoms said she nor Mayor Hardie Davis of Augusta spoke to Kemp before his announcement.
Despite the “favorable data” that Kemp has claimed, Bottoms says the state’s coronavirus “numbers are going up” based on “the data that we received from our public health department each day.”
Per the Georgia Department of Public Health as of Tuesday afternoon, there are 19,881 reported cases of COVID-19 with 799 reported deaths.
Watch Bottoms’ full interview with Cuomo (below):
“We really are at a loss, and I am concerned as a mother and as the mayor of our capital city.”— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) April 21, 2020
Atlanta’s mayor says Georgia’s Republican governor did not consult her and other key state leaders before deciding to allow some businesses to reopen. pic.twitter.com/qSw2Kbe0gr