On Friday, Georgia Starts to Reopen

Other states make similar plans, though even some business owners have doubts
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2020 7:25 PM CDT
On Friday, Georgia Starts to Reopen
Gov. Brian Kemp announced Georgia's plan for reopening businesses on Monday.   (AP Photo/Ron Harris, Pool)

Georgia's economy will start reopening this week, Gov. Brian Kemp has announced, despite the fears of health officials and some business owners that it's not safe yet. Gyms, bowling alleys, salons, and tattoo parlors can open their doors Friday, as long as they observe hygiene and social distancing guidelines. Theaters, private social clubs and dine-in restaurants can reopen April 27, the New York Times reports. Local governments that want businesses to stay shut will not have that choice, Kemp said, adding that "local action cannot be taken that is more or less restrictive." The owner of a restaurant in Savannah worries that infections could increase again, per the AP. "I'd rather stay closed an extra week and wipe this thing out," he said.

Certain retailers, including department stores, and public beaches can reopen Tuesday in South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster said. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Monday that his state's stay-at-home order won't be renewed when it expires April 30. "The vast majority of businesses in 89 counties" can then reopen May 1, Lee's office said. Ohio businesses also can reopen May 1. Inadequate testing remains an issue, and Kemp said he's working on that. His decision, he said, was based on "favorable data, enhanced testing and approval of our health care professionals." Georgia's death toll climbed past 700 on Monday; the state has reported 19,000 people have tested positive. (Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that reopening too soon could backfire.)

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