Gov. Brian Kemp announced Wednesday that a shelter-in-place order will take effect for all Georgians on Friday.
The order will be in place through April 13.
Kemp’s decision was influenced by recent changes in modeling and data for Georgia and other states regarding the spread of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week that individuals can be infected and spreading the virus earlier than was previously thought, even among those who do not show symptoms. One in four people may have no coronavirus symptoms but still be spreading the disease, the CDC reports.
This new finding was a “game changer” and requires Georgia to take more aggressive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Kemp said during a press conference in Atlanta.
Kemp intends to sign the shelter-in-place order on Thursday. He said the order will lay out all the guidelines on how Georgians are expected to stay home and what services and businesses will remain essential.
Kemp also announced Wednesday that the state’s public k-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year.
These measures are intended to prevent hospitals and healthcare facilities across the state from being overwhelmed by patients as the virus continues to spread.
As of noon Wednesday, Georgia had 4,638 COVID-19 cases across 139 counties and 139 deaths, Kemp said.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families, loved ones and communities of those we have lost to this terrible virus,” he said.
Recent models show Georgia to reach its peak of cases April 23.
“This model assumes Georgians continue to abide by the state’s orders and social distancing measures until the end of May,” Kemp said.