Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order Friday to deputize Georgia’s sheriffs for enforcement of his statewide shelter in place executive order.
Both the shelter in place and deputizing orders went into effect at 6 p.m. Friday. The newest order authorizes sheriffs and their deputies to enforce the closure of businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations or organizations as outlined in his shelter in place order.
“We have been and will continue to work hard to educate the public on the importance of social distancing and that sheltering in place will help flatten the curve and spread of COVID-19,” Carroll County Sheriff Terry Langley said in a written statement. “The Sheriff’s Office will evaluate each complaint of those not following the Order on a case-by-case basis.”
The governor’s order states that county sheriffs should take steps to provide notice and reasonable time for compliance.
The shelter in place order states that anyone who violates the order will be guilty of a misdemeanor and officials enforcing the order should take reasonable steps to provide notice prior to issuing a citation or making an arrest.
Individuals must practice social distancing — that is, conducting all social interactions at a distance of at least six feet — and must remain at their residence to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The order allows four exceptions, including the participation in essential services and performing necessary travel.
No one sheltering in place can receive visitors, with exceptions including medical and end-of-life circumstances.
Types of businesses that must shut down as specifically outlined in Kemp’s order include dine-in services, gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, theaters, live performance venues, amusement rides, body art studios, estheticians such as hair designers, persons licensed to practice massage therapy, and businesses with a license to operate as a bar.
Places that are deemed as “critical infrastructure” can continue in-person operations and have to implement all of the 20 measures outlined in the order to mitigate exposure and spread of COVID-19.
Places that are not deemed “critical infrastructure” can only engage in “minimum basic operations,” must follow a social distancing rule and must follow 16 measures outlined in the order.
Minimum basic operations include activities to maintain the value of a business such as providing services, managing inventory, ensuring security, payroll, and employee benefits, ensuring security, or similar functions.
The order follows definitions of critical and non-critical infrastructure that were previously defined by the U.S Department of Homeland Security.