Live music venues, bars and nightclubs must remain closed through May 31, Gov. Brian Kemp announced, but summer day camps have been given a green light to reopen if they follow health and safety regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Kemp said during a May 12 press conference at the State Capitol that keeping performance venues, bars and nightclubs closed  “a little bit longer will help enhance health outcomes.”

On the other hand, Kemp issued a new executive order that allows summer day camps to reopen May 14. Overnight summer camps are still banned for now.

Restaurants, which began reopening on April 27, will now be allowed to have 10 patrons per 300 square feet and party size per table increased from 6 to 10 people. Daycare facilities may similarly operate with larger occupancy.

Kemp also said state agencies would begin to phase back into limited in-person operations starting May 18.

Click here to read the executive order.

Kemp encouraged Georgians to follow social distancing guidelines and to wear face coverings when in public. He said the state is ramping up its contact tracing program and the Georgia Department of Public Health planned to have 1,000 staff deployed around the state in the weeks ahead to do contact tracing interviews.

The governor also noted that Georgia had received a shipment of 30 cases of remdesivir, the drug originally created to treat hepatitis C, but is being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 patients and authorized for emergency use.

Kemp said he would continue to monitor COVID-19 statistics and take whatever steps necessary to prevent a second wave of cases. At 4:05 p.m. on May 12, the DPH was reporting 34,737 confirmed cases and the death toll at 1,465. That’s 1,261 new cases and additional 160 deaths in the previous 48 hours.

Kemp said he expected there would be an increase in the number of confirmed cases as testing is now more widely available and with contact tracing underway.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.