“It’s lengthy. It’s cumbersome. And we know that. But it’s necessary right now,” Kemp said of the regulations.
“If we continue to drive the numbers down and continue to get further past our peak and take care of that vulnerable population that’s out there, we can continue to lift restrictions,” he said.
Georgia began easing coronavirus restrictions in late April, drawing bipartisan condemnation and sharp warnings from public health analysts that the state could risk a second wave.
Though the rate of coronavirus-related hospitalizations has dropped, experts say it’s too soon to assess Kemp’s strategy.
He, too, has not declared victory over the disease. But the Republican expressed confidence Georgia can avoid a second wave of the disease if people use “good common sense,” practice social distancing and wear a mask.
Kemp, who donned a face covering for Wednesday’s event, was asked about concerns that masks have become an ideological statement rather than a matter of public health.
He said though he won’t require Georgians to wear them – “we’re not a nanny state here” – he aims to “lead by example.”
“I’m by no means perfect. I almost shook someone’s hand just a second ago, and I keep trying to refrain from doing that,” said Kemp, who didn’t wear a mask during parts of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit last week.
“It’s a good idea to wear a mask: not to protect you, but to protect others from you if you happen to have the virus and don’t know it. Not everybody wants to do that. I get that,” he said. “I don’t think we need to start pointing fingers at people. We just need folks to be smart.”