Kemp extends COVID-19 order and opens door for nursing home visitation

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order on coronavirus is expiring today, and the new order has been issued. While the new order doesn’t change much — at-risk populations are still under quarantine and gatherings of more than 50 people are still banned — it does open the door for visitation at nursing homes.

On Sept. 15, Kemp signed a new order extending current COVID-19 restrictions and issuing guidance for long-term care facility visitation. The new executive order takes effect on Sept. 16 at 12 a.m. and runs through Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m.

Under the new order, there are no changes to the mandatory restrictions in place for the operation of businesses, including food establishments, bars, cinemas, bowling alleys, salons, barbers, cosmetologists, amusement parks, live performance and event venues, and childcare facilities.

The local option for requiring face coverings, subject to specific criteria, remains in place.

The shelter in place provisions for people who live in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile remain in place. The Order also continues to include a large gathering ban of 50 persons unless social distancing is maintained.

The Order adds new language to clearly authorize community and state ombudsmen to perform inspections at long-term care facilities and – -subject to specific criteria and restrictions outlined by the Department of Public Health — allow long-term care facilities to conduct in-person visitation in accordance with Georgia Department of Public Health guidelines.

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