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Kemp, Duncan, Ralston Announce Plans to Extend Public Health State of Emergency

Today Governor Brian Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, and Speaker David Ralston announced plans to extend Georgia’s public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Under state law, the Governor may renew the public health state of emergency, which was otherwise set to expire on April 13, 2020. Lt. Governor Duncan and Speaker Ralston agree it is necessary for the public health emergency to be renewed and will not be requesting a special legislative session, which was tentatively scheduled for April 15, 2020. Read the full press release.
In addition, Governor Kemp held a press conference today, April 8. Below are key points of impact for local governments:

  • The statewide shelter in place has been extended to April 30, 2020, and the Governor’s initial Public Health State of Emergency was extended through May 13, 2020.  
  • The majority of short-term vacation rentals will be suspended starting at midnight on Thursday, April 9, to prevent Georgia from becoming a "vacation destination" during the pandemic.
  • Order signed that requires senior care facilities to take more steps to prevent the spread of the virus, including banning most visitors and requiring in-room dining services
  • Additional Georgia National Guard troops called up to assist in the state’s response to COVID-19

Watch the full press conference.

Governor Kemp Calls on Group of Municipal Leaders for Counsel in Pandemic 

Early this week, Governor Kemp and his office requested GMA to assist in naming 22 city leaders to a committee to give advice and counsel to the Governor’s office. The committee held its first meeting this afternoon, April 8, where each discussed their individual areas of need and concern, and solutions to these concerns. The Governor’s office has committed to considering these determined requests for supplementary orders in the future. GMA is also urging all city officials and staff to submit their concerns and corresponding solutions to to be considered.

Share the Impact of COVID-19 with the Fed Reserve 

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is seeking feedback from local officials through a brief survey assessing COVID-19 impacts. The survey is designed to identify promising efforts to stabilize communities. The Fed is playing a critical role in the federal government's response to the coronavirus to support economic recovery efforts. Survey feedback will give the agency a better understanding of what is happening in our communities and how the federal government can be most effective in providing support. You can access the survey here. The deadline to respond is this Friday, April 10, 2020. Additional COVID-19 resources from the Fed are available here.

GMA Updates its COVID-19 Resource Center 

Cities are encouraged to visit GMA’s newly updated COVID-19 Resource Center for Municipal Leaders for pertinent resources including GMA’s Frequently Asked Questions document. Cities can also access GMA & ACCG’s summary of Governor Kemp’s statewide shelter in place executive order on GMA’s website. Read the full summary, including its impact on local governments on GMA’s website.
GMA’s resource center also includes a Public Employment Law FAQ Series based on the guidance and recommended practices from the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health. Published by the Public Sector Group of Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp & Wilson, LLP, this series exists to minimize the potential for exposing employees to COVID-19 while informing cities on matters including: complying with CDC and GDPH standards in the workplace without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act; paid leave for employees during absences related to COVID-19; and Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, and wage and hour issues

Moving City Council Meetings Online in Response to COVID-19

Municipal governments are being forced to either close their meetings to the public or operate meetings entirely remotely. However, most communities are subject to sunshine laws, accessibility laws, or concerns about public engagement. Read this article to see how local governments are responding to this shift in operations during the crisis.

WEBINARS: Register to Attend

GMA's Coronavirus Resource Center

As GMA receives resources surrounding COVID-19, we will update the Coronavirus Resource Center for Municipal Officials

Additional Resource:

Visit GMA's COVID-19 Resource Center

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