ATLANTA - More than 30 Democrats signed their names to a letter sent to Gov. Brian Kemp Wednesday urging him to issue a "shelter in place" order for the entire state in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
In the letter, State Rep. Sam Park, D-Lawrenceville, said Georgia's "window of opportunity to control this pandemic [...] is rapidly closing."
"This is a once in a hundred-year pandemic that we're in the middle of and I think we need to act accordingly with the unprecedented nature of this crisis," said Rep. Park.
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Gov. Kemp's most recent Executive Order includes a shelter in place directive, but only for those who live in nursing or longterm care homes, those undergoing cancer treatment and those with chronic lung disease.
Kemp said while he is listening to epidemiologists, he must take more than just virus data into account.
"There's a social and a health care effect of people if they don't have a job for more than a week or more than two weeks. It's going to be devastating to them," Gov. Kemp explained in an interview Tuesday. "The results of that economically and socially are devastating. When you think about when automobile plants closed in Detroit and other places up the Midwest, that's where our largest opioid epidemics came from. So, those are the types of things I'm thinking about."
Rep. Park said the economic concerns associated with the pandemic are just as important as the health concerns, but he believes health should be the priority.
"I think in this moment in time it requires us to take all actions necessary to protect the health and safety of Georgians and then work on rebuilding our economy," said Park.
He said he hopes the letter will get Gov. Kemp to reconsider his decision, but if not, it can at least serve as a reminder to Georgians to take precautions to protect themselves and their families.
Best prevention measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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