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KUNC is here to keep you up-to-date on the news about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and answer your questions about Colorado's response to its spread in our state.

Georgia Becomes Ground Zero For The Debate Over When To Reopen

People work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia has also become a battleground between health experts who say it is not safe for the state to reopen small businesses and the governor, who said this week that some businesses may resume work.
People work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia has also become a battleground between health experts who say it is not safe for the state to reopen small businesses and the governor, who said this week that some businesses may resume work.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced that certain businesses in his state could reopen this week. Georgia’s the first state to begin staggered reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, despite medical experts warning the U.S. still doesn’t have enough widespread testing to control outbreaks. 

Fitness centers, hair salons, and bowling alleys are some of the Georgia businesses that can choose to re-open on Friday. Theaters and restaurants can re-open next Monday.  

Gov. Kemp called the plan a “measured approach” on Fox News this week

“It was done in conjunction with public health officials based on the data that we are seeing in our state and the gateways to the phase one part of the president’s plan,” he said. The plan in question is the 18-page document “Opening Up America Again,” which was released by the White House earlier this month.

Despite Gov. Kemp’s insistence he’s following White House guidelines, President Donald Trump told reporters yesterday he “totally disagrees” with the governor’s plan.

“Do I agree with him? No, but I respect him and I will let him make his decision,” Trump said at a White House press conference. “Would I do that? No … I’m going to let him make his decision, but I told him, I totally disagree.”

Disagreeing with the governor is one thing President Trump and the Democratic mayor of Atlanta have in common.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says an advisory committee will decide when to reopen the city – and their plan may not be in place until mid-May.  

She told CNN that she and other Georgia mayors were “at a loss” over Gov. Kemp’s plan.

“As a parent, I am concerned because what I know is that when I look at the data […] our numbers are going up,” she said. “Our death rate is up by almost 14 percent, our positive [cases are] up almost seven percent — and we are not testing [those who are] asymptomatic or those with even mild symptoms.”

Kemp says “no locality can overturn” his decision. 

We talk to a business owner on the ground in Georgia, who is struggling with when to reopen… and whether to follow her own governor’s guidance. 

 

 

 

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