Georgia’s public health state of emergency being extended to May 13

STAFF REPORT :::

Governor Brian Kemp, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston have announced their intention to extend Georgia’s public health state of emergency through May 13.

The original state of emergency was set to expire April 13.

State law allows for the extension of the emergency declaration, which Kemp sought to mitigate COVID-19.

Duncan and Ralston agree with the extension renewal and will not request a special legislative session, which was tentatively scheduled for April 15.

“To ensure the health and well-being of Georgians, I will extend the public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020. This measure will allow us to continue to deploy resources to communities in need, lend support to frontline medical providers and keep preparing as we brace for potential patient surge in our health care facilities. We deeply appreciate the hard work of Georgians who are sheltering in place, using social distancing and helping us flatten the curve. We are in this fight together,” Kemp said. “I appreciate Lt. Governor Duncan and Speaker Ralston continuing to work with us to ensure resources are available to proactively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I thank them for their support of an extended emergency declaration. In these unprecedented times, we ask Georgians for their continued patience and prayers, especially for first responders, law enforcement and the health care workers caring for the medically fragile. They are going above and beyond to keep us all safe, and we will never be able to repay them for their sacrifices.”

Duncan said the extension will ensure residents will continue to have access to the resources needed during the ongoing pandemic.

“We must continue our aggressive fight against COVID-19. By extending the public health state of emergency, we can ensure Georgians have access to every available state resource during this crisis,” Duncan said. “Together, Speaker Ralston and I are working closely with Governor Kemp to do all we can to make sure we are meeting the needs of every Georgian. The General Assembly will continue to remain vigilant and available to assist our citizens in any way possible.”

Ralston echoed his support for those front-line workers and said state officials’ efforts to fight this outbreak will continue.

“The entirety of our state government is working to protect the health and safety of our citizens, and I appreciate the work of our state personnel and first responders during this challenging time,” Ralston said. “While we have difficult days ahead, we continue to coordinate with both local and federal partners in responding to needs as they arise. As Georgians, we will persevere and emerge stronger on the other side.”

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