Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Georgia, US order residents to shelter in place, nonessential businesses to close, 2000 April 3-13.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Columbus, Georgia
  • Brunswick-Golden Isles, Georgia
  • Augusta, Georgia
  • Albany, Georgia
  • Macon-Warner Robins, Georgia
  • Waycross, Georgia
  • Valdosta, Georgia
  • Dalton, Georgia
  • Moultrie, Georgia
  • La Grange, Georgia

This alert began 03 Apr 2020 11:29 GMT and is scheduled to expire 13 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Georgia (map)
  • Time Frame: 2000 April 3-13
  • Impact: Movement restrictions, significant business disruptions

Summary
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order requiring residents to shelter in place, and nonessential businesses to close, 2000 April 3-April 13, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The order stipulates that residents may only leave their homes to obtain basic goods, attend a medical issue, care for a person in need, perform outdoor recreational activities without gathering and maintaining a proper distance from other people, and to go to work at an essential business or service. Among the essential businesses that are allowed to remain open are grocery stores, pharmacies, fuel stations, banks, and energy, transport, security, healthcare, and manufacturing companies. Essential businesses must screen their workers' health, and maintain social distancing practices. Nonessential businesses can operate with their employees working from home.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will almost certainly deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the order at short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Georgia authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Georgia Department of Public Health - COVID-19: https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report

Georgia Governor Shelter-in-Place Order: https://gov.georgia.gov/press-releases/2020-04-02/governor-kemp-issues-shelter-place-order