Georgia – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions through 31 July 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


  • March 12, 2020—Governor Kemp ordered most state employees to work from home, but has not shut down the state capitol. He also initiated a “call to order” for schools and daycare, which allows them to shutdown if local administrators are in agreement to do so.  
  • March 12, 2020—Governor Kemp requested 100 million in state funds to combat COVID-19. 
  • March 13, 2020 – Governor Kemp issued a public health emergency for the state.
  • March, 14, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order calling National Guard troops to active duty. The order calls up 2,000 National Guard troops to active duty to assist in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the state.
  • March 16, 2020 – The Georgia General Assembly granted the Governor expansive new emergency powers to combat COVID-19, including the ability to:
    • Suspend laws and regulations prescribing state agency procedures;
    • Compel a health care facility to provide services or transfer management to the state;
    • Commandeer or utilize private property;
    • Transfer state treasury funds; and
    • Direct evacuations if necessary.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor ordered all public elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools to be closed by March 18 through at least March 31.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor in a press conference encouraged Georgians to support local businesses and drive-in/thru restaurants and take out options to bolster the local economy. 
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor signed the amended fiscal year 2020 budget  to tap into the state’s rainy-day fund for $100 million to combat COVID-19.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor submitted a letter requesting a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) declaration to provide SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to the State of Georgia.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor urged hospitals to cancel elective surgery in order to save life-saving supplies.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor, in consultation with the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, asked healthcare providers and the public to conserve COVID-19 test for the most vulnerable populations.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor received an official statewide disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor announced and named members of the Georgia’s Coronavirus Task Force Committees. The task force is comprised of the following committees:
    • Economic Impact
    • Primary Care Providers
    • Emergency Preparedness
    •  Homeland and Displaced
  • March 20. 2020 – The Governor issued two executive orders. One executive order authorized the transfer of over 19 million to the Governor’s Emergency Fund to purchase medical supplies and equipment and the other executive order aimed at reducing regulations surrounding COVID-19 response.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order expanding temporary licensing of certain medical professions assisting in the state’s response.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order that limited large gatherings, ordered a “shelter-in-place” for specific populations, and closed bars, nightclubs for 14 days.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor increased the maximum SNAP benefit level per month per household.  
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor called on all Georgia businesses who are able to help the state provide, produce, distribute, or store critical health care items.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state’s coronavirus task force will participate in a live town hall.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order that adopted emergency rules and waivers with respect to renewal and suspensions of driver’s licenses and identification cards.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order extending the closure of public schools through April 24.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order to assist the with the state’s response to unemployment insurance claims.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor deployed the national guard medical support team to support the state’s efforts in battling COVID-19.
  • March 27, 2020 – The President approved Georgia’s disaster declaration and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local recovery efforts in Georgia.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor ordered the enforcement of social distancing measures at parks and lakes.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor submitted a request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for an 1135 Medicaid waiver.
  • March 31, 2020 – The Governor announced a laboratory surge capacity plan to quickly increase the availability of COVID-19 testing. This plan is in partnership with various university and health systems in Georgia.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Georgia National Guard will deploy over 100 Guardsmen to any long-term care facility/assisted living facility or nursing home with COVID-19 cases.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor ordered K-12 schools to be closed for the remainder of the school year.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order that authorized the use of real-time audio-visual communication technology to assist in notarizing real estate documents.
  • April 2, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Georgia’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables Georgia to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, and extend fair hearing timelines.
  • April 3, 2020 – The Governor announced that the University System of Georgia (USG) and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, will offer temporary housing to traveling nurses assisting at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.
  • April 3, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order to deputizing sheriffs for enforcement of Executive Order 04.02.20.01 involving businesses, establishments, for-profit and non-profit corporations, and organizations requiring shelter-in-place.
  • April 5, 2020 – The Governor announced a new Community Outreach Committee as a part of his Coronavirus Task Force Committee.
  • April 5, 2020 – The Governor issued new guidance to retailers and consumers organization in the state.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state would be working with CVS Health to increase access to rapid COVID-19 testing. CVS will be operating drive-thru rapid COVID-19 testing, offered by Abbott Laboratories, at a site on Georgia Tech’s campus. At full capacity, the site will be able to conduct up to 1,000 tests per day.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor announced that he would be extending Georgia’s public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order regarding the safety of employees and residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order suspending short term rental homes.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order deploying an additional 1,000 national guard soldiers to assist with relief efforts. 
  • April 12, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state has executed a contract with Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE) to build a 200-hospital bed alternate care facility at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC).
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Public Health, will begin to provide a list of COVID-19 cases in each jurisdiction to 911 centers.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order which designated healthcare institutions and medical facility employees, staff, and contractors as “auxiliary emergency management workers.” This order will limit the civil liability of “auxiliary emergency management workers” engaging in “emergency management activities” while providing patient care if such care results in the death or injury of a patient.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor announced the state’s plans to augment staffing levels for healthcare facilities in various parts of Georgia. The state is working with Jackson Healthcare through its subsidiary Healthcare Workforce Logistics to bring roughly 570 additional healthcare professionals to health systems.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor released a long-term care facility report which tracks the number of COVID-19 cases in these facilities.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor announced the completion of an alternate care facility at the Georgia World Congress Center that can accommodate 200 patients and is operating in cooperation with the Grady Health System.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor urged Congress to pass additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) received a donation of 330,000 N-95 masks from Cisco.
  • April 20, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order granting certain businesses permission to reopen later in the week. The designated businesses include  barbershops, gyms, and other close contact businesses.
  • April 21, 2020 – The Governor and the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers issued guidance for the safe reopening of Georgia’s salons and spas. The guidance includes:
    • Temperature checks
    • Screening questions of customers
    • Limits to the amount of people in each shop at one time
    • Social distancing
    • Use of PPE
    • Disinfection
  • April 22, 2020 – The Georgia Department of Labor announced options that unemployed individuals and small businesses may use as the state incrementally reopens. 
  • April 24, 2020 – The Governor announced that Walgreens will open a drive-thru rapid COVID-19 testing site at a location in Alpharetta that will be able to conduct 150 tests a day.
  • April 26, 2020 – The Governor announced the launch of a mobile COVID-19 testing initiative to set up drive-thru sites in communities without access to testing.
  • April 28, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state had administered nearly 13,000 new test in a single day, recording the largest single day in new tests reported.
  • April 28, 2020 – The Governor stated that he has not made a decision regarding the shelter-in-place order to expire on Thursday, April 30th.
  • April 28, 2020 – The Governor signed  an executive order further outlining specific protective measures food service, entertainment, and other entities must maintain during their reopening, some of this includes:
    • Inspection timelines of restaurants
    • Further defining food establishments
    • Regulating indoor seating of movie theaters
  • April 29, 2020 – The Governor announced that ninety-five facilities have signed up to use the free Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS), a self-contained device that uses concentrated hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate N95 masks.
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order requiring business to operate with social distancing measures through May 31st. Additionally, the executive order requires medically fragile and elderly individuals to shelter in place until June 12th
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor announced that he is suspending the road test requirement for acquiring a driver’s license.
  • May 1, 2020 – The Governor urged all Georgians to continue to follow safe daily habits to reduce our risk of exposure and to continue to wear masks in public.
  • May 1, 2020 – The Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force Community Outreach Committee partnered with Georgia Department of Public Health and the DeKalb County Board of Public Health to establish free testing at a pop-up site at the House of Hope in Decatur for May 4, 2020.
  • May 5, 2020 – The Governor and the Georgia Department of Public Health announced there are currently sixty-six active COVID-19 specimen collection sites across Georgia. The state added nineteen sites in the past eleven days, including one-day-only sites.
  • May 5, 2020 –The Governor announced the largest shipment of personal protective equipment to date has been distributed by the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). Altogether, GEMA/HS shipped 38,420 face shields, 423,000 gloves, 432,150 surgical masks, and 81,120 coveralls to frontline healthcare workers.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor called for all individuals who have symptoms to get tested.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor announced that Peach Bowl Inc. will be partnering with the governor’s office to provide funding that will help make COVID-19 screenings available statewide.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order suspending the mandatory 30-day renewal period requirement for firearms owners to renew their licenses due to the extension of the public health emergency.
  • May 11, 2020 – The Governor reported the lowest number of ventilators in use and COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized in Georgia since hospitals began submitting data to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) on April 8.
  • May 12, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order requiring bars, nightclubs and live performance venues to remain shuttered through the end of May and relaxed capacity limits on restaurants that resume dine-in service, increasing the maximum table size from six patrons to 10. The order also doubled the number of children allowed in a single classroom at a child care facility from 10 to 20. Finally, the executive order allowed summer camps to resume to resume if they follow 32 regulations.
  • May 13, 2020- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Georgia’s second request for a Medicaid 1135 waiver. The waiver allows Georgia to reimburse for personal care provided by legally responsible individuals, including family caregivers
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor announced the launch of Augusta University’s COVID-19 telemedicine app and that Augusta University received a $400,000 donation from SK innovation to support Augusta University and Augusta University Health’s response and associated expenses pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) Office of Workforce Development was awarded a 12 Million Dislocated Worker Grant by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that 301,874 COVID-19 tests have been completed and reported to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).
  • May 18, 2020 – The Governor announced a list and interactive map of Georgia companies that have signed up to help businesses obtain personal protective equipment and health care supplies to fight COVID-19.
  • May 18, 2020 – The Governor announced that Georgia now ranks twenty-first out of fifty-four states and territories on the current percentage of total population tested.
  • May 19, 2020 – The Governor announced that Georgia reached its lowest number of COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized since hospitals started reporting data to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) on April 8.
  • May 22, 2020 – The Governor announced a filming “best practices” guide for Georgia that offers guidance for Georgia’s film and television industries to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 when productions resume in Georgia. The recommendations were developed in close cooperation with officials from studio and production companies who maintain a presence in Georgia.
  • May 26, 2020 – The Governor announced that to date Georgia has received over 2.5 billion in COVID-19 related support from federal partners.
  • May 26, 2020 – The Governor announced that Georgia Emergency Management has sent 5,013 test kits to nursing homes throughout the state.
  • June 12, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Georgia Department of Community Health’s (DCH) June 11th Long-Term Care Facility COVID-19 report indicated that 97% of nursing home residents in facilities with 25 or more beds have now been tested for COVID-19.
  • June 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state will begin COVID-19 priority testing for first responders at all specimen points of collection (SPOC) sites across the state.
  • June 16, 2020 – The Governor announced that Georgia will submit a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education for the suspension of the 2020-21 Georgia Milestones assessment and CCRPI school and district rating. Additionally, effective immediately, the Georgia Department of Education is suspending the teacher evaluation (TKES) summative rating for 2020-21.
  • June 18, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state has received 22,188 resource requests to date. In response to these resource requests, including 3,860 from skilled nursing homes, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency has distributed 5,868,241 N95 masks, 8,894,220 surgical masks, 1,065,692 face shields, 1,468,628 gowns, 17,697,420 gloves, 428,880 Tyvek coveralls, 138,992 test kits, and 154 ventilators to date.
  • June 18, 2020 – The Governor announced that he will be seeking a standardized testing waiver for 2020-21.
  • June 18, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) voted to remove the edTPA assessment as a requirement for the certification of educators in Georgia, making it easier and less costly for teachers to get certified in the state.
  • June 29, 2020 – The Governor issued guidance on CARES Act funding for various communities in Georgia.
  • June 29, 2020 – The Governor signed two executive orders extending the Public Health State of Emergency and existing COVID-19 safety measures.
  • July 1, 2020 – The Governor signed a bill that provides greater protections for assisted living facility and personal care home residents, strengthens staffing requirements, and increases maximum fines for violations.
  • July 6, 2020 – The Governor announced the Georgia Safety Promise, a safety campaign to remind Georgia businesses and the public of the importance of following COVID-19 safety guidelines.
  • July 13, 2020 – The Governor issued a press release announcing that June net tax collections approached $1.94 billion, for a decrease of $187 million, or -8.8 percent, compared to June 2019 when net tax collections totaled roughly $2.12 billion. Net tax collections for FY 2020 currently total almost $22.75 billion, a decrease of roughly $1.04 billion, or -4.4 percent, compared to FY 2019, when net tax revenues totaled more than $23.79 billion.
  • July 8, 2020 – The Governor released a public notice request regarding Section 1332 Waiver previously submitted to the Department of Treasury and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the Department of Health and Human Services for a Reinsurance Program and the Georgia Access Model.
  • July 15, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order prohibiting local municipalities across the state from mandating that masks be worn in public to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
  • July 15, 2020 – The Governor  announced a partnership to provide additional hospital bed surge capacity to treat COVID-19 patients at the Marcus Tower of the Piedmont Atlanta campus.
  • July 15, 2020 – The Governor announced Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) is leveraging an existing state contract with Georgia-based UPS to deliver personal protective equipment to medical facilities across Georgia.
  • July 16, 2020 – The Governor announced that 744 Georgia businesses, local authorities, officials, and individuals from across the state have committed to the Georgia Safety Promise.
  • July 17. 2020 – The Governor is suing Atlanta authorities to prevent the US city from enforcing its requirement to wear masks in public, along with other coronavirus-related restrictions.
  • July 18, 2020 – The Governor stated he will not order in-person school attendance.
  • July 20, 2020 – The Governor and the Georgia Department of Public Health today announced a new testing partnership with Mako Medical to provide testing supplies and services to process 10,000 SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests per day.
  • July 28, 2020 – The Governor withdrew his emergency request for a court to stop enforcement of Atlanta’s requirement that faces masks be worn in all public places, while mediation over the state’s legal effort to block the mandate proceeds.