Georgia to issue shelter-in-place order amid coronavirus outbreak

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday that he will be implementing a “shelter-in-place” order for the entire state. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, also issued statewide orders Wednesday mandating all residents stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Georgia, Florida and Pennsylvania join the majority of states — including the hardest-hit, New York, New Jersey, California and Washington — in implementing restrictions on people’s movements in an attempt to keep the virus from spreading further. 

The U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases of any country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with more than 190,000 confirmed cases of the virus and at least 4,100 deaths. 

More restrictions are expected to be implemented this week. Here are the states that announced restrictions Wednesday. This list will be updated throughout the day:

Georgia to enact ‘shelter-in-place’ order

Secretary of State Brian Kemp addresses the audience and declares victory during an election watch party on July 24, 2018 in Athens, Georgia. Kemp defeated opponent Casey Cagle in a runoff election for the Republican nomination for the Georgia Governor’s race.

Jessica McGowan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday that he will sign a statewide shelter-in-place order on Thursday. The order will go into effect Friday and extend through April 13. 

Kemp said that the recent CDC announcement that people can become infected with the coronavirus and spread it while asymptomatic earlier than what was previously thought influenced his decision to enact a shelter-in-place order. He also said that Georgia needs more time to prepare its hospital capacity for a surge of patients. 

“All of us know that this fight is won at the community level,” Kemp said at a press briefing Wednesday. 

Kemp said that those who do follow state and local directives regarding the coronavirus will face stiff penalties. He also announced that schools will remain closed until the end of the academic year.

Georgia currently has 4,638 cases of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Pennsylvania extends stay-at-home order to entire state

GP: Gov. Tom Wolf speaks in front of Bellefonte Area High School on July 13, 2015 in Bellefonte, Pa.

Nabil K. Mark | Centre Daily Times | Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a statewide stay-at-home order Wednesday that will last until at least April 30. Previously, only select counties in Pennsylvania were under stay-at-home orders from the governor. The new order goes into effect Wednesday at 8:00 pm.

“We appreciate the shared sacrifice of all 12.8 million Pennsylvanians; we are in this together,” Wolf said in a statement.

Residents can leave their homes for essential reasons such as getting food or medicine, or caring for a sick relative. 

Pennsylvania currently has 4,994 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

Florida residents told to remain at home

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis talks during a news conference at the Broward County mobile testing site at CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on March 19, 2020.

David Santiago | Miami Herald | Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Wednesday requiring residents to remain at home. Only certain parts of Florida had stay-at-home orders prior to the statewide order. The new policy goes into effect Thursday night at midnight. 

“Even though there’s a lot of places in Florida with very low infection rates, it makes sense to make this move now,” DeSantis said at a press briefing Wednesday.

He said that he had consulted with President Donald Trump about implementing a stay-at-home order. He explained that the CDC’s decision to extend its guidelines 30 more days convinced him to make the decision because it “clearly represents, effectively, a national pause.” 

Residents will still be able to leave their homes for essential reasons. DeSantis said senior citizens should take special care to stay at home amid the outbreak. 

Florida currently has 6,955 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to data compiled by the state. 

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