Gov. Brian Kemp Talks Easter Storm, COVID-19, Suspension of Anti-Mask Law

During his press conference held outside state capital on Monday, April 13, Gov. Brian Kemp began the briefing talking about those affected by the Easter going on to he issued a state of emergency to aid in relief efforts.

Gov. Kemp went on to express his dissatisfaction with the current number of COVID-19 tests throughout the state, saying, "our testing number in Georgia continues to lag.” He went on to say that the scarcity of testing was “unacceptable.” 

"We need to be firing on all cylinders for the days and weeks ahead," Kemp said. He did note that the expansion of testing is coming.

“I want to be crystal clear: we do not want people showing up unannounced to a hospital, emergency room, or healthcare facility for a test. You need to contact your local health department beforehand to arrange for a test,” Kemp said.

Kemp went on to say that one of the state’s top priorities is dealing with surge capacity, making sure the state’s hospitals have enough beds to deal with the influx of patients. This statement comes days after he announced the 200 beds coming to the Georgia World Congress Center as an effort to aid with this surge.

Throughout his briefing, Gov. Kemp made no mention of parks or beaches but did say, “we’ve had a lot more problems with neighborhood block parties than we have at our beaches and state parks.” 

Kemp announced that he signed an executive order to suspend the Jim Crow era anti-mask law so people wouldn’t feel as if they would be prosecuted if they wore protective masks in public. 

The current law makes it a misdemeanor to wear "a mask, hood, or device by which any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer and is upon any public way or public property or upon the private property of another without the written permission of the owner or occupier of the property to do so."