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In a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Brian Kemp said that he will issue a statewide shelter in place order tomorrow in response to the rapidly increasing number of coronavirus cases.  The shelter in place order will go into effect on Friday and run until April 13.

Kemp issued an order that closes all public K-12 schools in the state for the remainder of the school year.  This order went into place on Wednesday and school districts have responded to the order quickly.  

Buford City Schools sent out emails to all parents at approximately 7 p.m. informing them of the Governor’s decision.  In that email, BCS Superintendent, Dr. Robert Downs stated that he knows that this is a difficult situation and he said that the school system is waiting to receive additional guidance from the Georgia Department of Education on how best to handle the situation. Dr. Downs said, “As a district, we understand this situation is difficult. Even though we may not be meeting face-to-face every day, we are still here, we are still listening and we are still working to provide our students and families with the help needed to navigate this challenging time!” 

The full scope of the statewide shelter in place order is not yet known, Kemp said that it will allow for grocery stores, medical suppliers, and some manufacturing to remain open.  The order is also expected to include that restaurants may remain open to do business by drive-thru, curbside, or delivery only.

Kemp had initially stated that he would not call for such strict measures for fear it would cripple the economy, especially in places where there are relatively low numbers of the virus.  Kemp faced growing criticism for that stance on the virus. Several county and city leaders had already issued shelter in place orders before Kemp issued his Stay at Home order. 

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projects that Georgia will not reach its peak until April 23.  This news was the main deciding factor behind Kemp’s decisions to call for the statewide shelter in place and for schools to be closed for the remainder of the school year.

The Governor urges residents to not panic and make another run on the stores.  The stores are restocking shelves and he is confident that so long as people do not make another run on the stores that there are enough supplies out there or coming soon.

The full details of the Shelter in Place order that Kemp will issue on Thursday, will be posted online tomorrow morning after they are released.  

— Staff Reports

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