ATLANTA – Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King issued the following statement today regarding his recent deployment to the Navajo Nation in his National Guard capacity in the ongoing fight against COVID-19:
“In light of my recent deployment to the Navajo Nation as part of the Department of Defense’s response to COVID-19, I will be stepping away from my role on the COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Task Force here in Georgia. However, I am confident that Governor Kemp and his team will make suitable arrangements to effectively implement our state’s comprehensive distribution plan. Upon my return, I will travel the state to urge Georgians – especially those in our Spanish-speaking communities – to get vaccinated. Together, we will ensure a safer, healthier future for our great state.”
The Navajo Nation, located in northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico, is currently under a shelter in place order with a 57-hour lockdown on weekends. There’s evidence of 75 uncontrolled community spread cases as a result of family gatherings and travel. Residents are required to stay at home and stay on the Navajo reservation. Any movement is limited to essential activities. Businesses must close by 7 p.m. MST and the tourist attractions are closed. The order is in place until December 28, 2020.
According to the Nation’s President Jonathan Nez, the territory reported “158 new cases, 10,623 recoveries, and two more deaths related to COVID-19.” on Monday, December 14. Navajo Nation has a total of 19,766 cases. The 2010 census estimated that 173,667 people lived on the reservation.
158 new cases, 10,623 recoveries, and two more deaths related to
COVID-19 as Navajo Area IHS receives first shipment of Pfizer vaccines pic.twitter.com/RTghLg4PtA
— Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez (@NNPrezNez) December 15, 2020
Navajo Nation received it’s first shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. It’s estimated to be around 3,900 doses will be distributed to healthcare facilities early this week.
ATLANTA, Ga – After issuing an extended shelter in place, Gov. Brian Kemp finally instituted a ban on short-term vacation rentals to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, the governor stopped short of closing state parks and beaches despite numerous calls from local governments to do so.
“I have also heard the concerns of many hardworking Georgians, including local elected officials, who fear that our state will become a vacation destination. As a result, and in accordance with public health guidance, I have signed an order to suspend short-term vacation rentals across Georgia,” stated Kemp.
The short-term rental ban identifies vacation rentals as residential properties that can be leased for 30 days or less and can be let by a third-party broker. The licensor is a limited liability corporation, corporation, partnership, person, or any other entity; and the licensee is a private person.
It DOES NOT apply to hotels, motels, campgrounds, extended-stay hotels, commercial transactions, and leases that serve as a person’s primary residence.
Additionally, any rental paid in full by 12:00 a.m. on April 9, 2020, may keep their reservation.
The order won’t prevent people from occupying their personal property.
Law enforcement is authorized to enforce the order, but not to evict anyone in a vacation rental.
Beginning at 12:00 a.m. on April 9, the ban will expire on April 30 at 11:59 p.m.
When asked about the closing of the state parks and beaches, Kemp said only 300 people visited the beaches over the weekend and everyone practiced social distancing.
Earlier in the week, 12 North Georgia Commission Chairmen joined together to ask Kemp to close state parks and the Mayor of Tybee Island also issued a statement expressing his dissatisfaction with Kemp’s decision to open state beaches and park.
As of now, all his state parks reports indicated everyone was following CDC guidelines and he sees no reason to close the parks. Kemp did say he would revisit the issue if he discovers park visitors aren’t practicing social distancing.
Kemp also reasoned that when gyms and other exercise facilities close, people will want to go somewhere to receive physical activity.
Long-Term Care Update
Except from Kemp’s speech:
“The Georgia Department of Public Health has determined that COVID-19 is spreading through nursing homes, inpatient hospice, assisted living communities, personal care homes, intermediate care homes, community living arrangements, and community integration homes. We have dramatically increased access to resources to these facilities to mitigate exposure, but we have to do more to protect these Georgians.
“Earlier today, I signed an executive order extending Georgia’s public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020. This measure will allow us to deploy more resources to communities in need, lend support to frontline medical providers, and keep preparing as we brace for potential patient surge in our healthcare facilities. I appreciate Lt. Governor Duncan, Speaker Ralston, and the General Assembly for working with us to ensure resources are available to proactively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This afternoon, I also signed an executive order mandating more aggressive infection control measures at long-term care facilities across Georgia. I’ll outline a few, key requirements. Facilities must adopt infectious disease transfer protocols with nearby hospitals. Visitors and non-essential personnel are strictly prohibited except in compassionate care situations. If feasible, these facilities must provide in-room dining services, and all group activities are canceled. Employees must wash or sanitize their hands after any interaction with a resident. Facilities must implement protocols to screen residents for fever and respiratory symptoms, and employees must be screened before starting a shift. If an employee is exposed, to the extent feasible, he or she must self-quarantine for fourteen days before returning to work. Facilities are required to implement universal and correct use of personal protective equipment, and we stand ready to coordinate delivery of supplies. Facilities must utilize hospital-grade disinfectants for frequent cleaning. If possible, residents with symptoms of respiratory infection need to be placed together, and facilities should have specific employees working only on affected units. To ensure compliance, I am empowering the Department of Public Health, National Guard, and Department of Community Health to issue directives to facilities to prevent, monitor, and treat COVID-19.
“Today, I am also signing an executive order to activate 1,000 additional National Guard members to assist in COVID-19 emergency response.
“In accordance with public health recommendations, I am also extending the statewide shelter in place order through April 30, 2020. All of the provisions of the statewide shelter in place order will remain in effect. I want to thank everyone who followed these directives, and I appreciate your patience.”
Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp issued Executive Order 03.14.20.02 authorizing Adjutant General Tom Carden – at the request of Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Homer Bryson – to call up as many as 2,000 Georgia National Guard troops to State Active Duty to address novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Georgia.
“Through extensive emergency preparedness training, the brave men and women in the Georgia National Guard stand ready to serve above and beyond their traditional military duties. In states of emergency, they are equipped to take necessary action to protect the health and safety of Georgia families in every region,” said Governor Kemp. “To assist with COVID-19 mitigation and critical services, including the transfer of Georgians currently at Dobbins Air Reserve Base to their homes, the Georgia National Guard will now be available to communities to ensure the steady supply of medical equipment, food, shelter, or related materials to keep Georgians safe in the weeks ahead.”
The Georgia National Guard is already assisting with the transfer of thirty-one Georgians – formerly passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship – from Dobbins Air Reserve Base to their homes today for isolation and monitoring by Department of Public Health officials.