As of Wednesday morning, there were more than 4,000 cases and at least 139 people who have died as a result of the coronavirus in Georgia.
Several Georgia cities and counties have issued shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, including Athens and Albany. Kemp had previously had an opposing stance to the statewide lockdowns that other governors have implemented. The municipality level differences had made it confusing for residents to follow suit with orders.
In addition to the petition and city leaders advocating for the mandate, medical experts had urged Kemp to forgo concerns about the potential economic impact in preservation of public health.
“We need Governor Kemp to act now, the point of ‘no return’ for Georgia is rapidly closing,” said Carlos del Rio, the chair of the Department of Global Health Studies at Emory University. “To prevent a catastrophe in the healthcare system due to Covid-19, we need for him to shut down Georgia now.”