Drivers wait in lines at Southeast gas stations after pipeline hack leads to distribution problems, panic-buying
Drivers waited in long lines at gas stations in the Southeast on Wednesday after a hack of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline led to distribution problems and panic-buying, draining supplies at thousands of gas stations.
Georgia governor quarantines after coronavirus exposure
Brian Kemp is in quarantine after exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, but he has tested negative for the virus, his spokesman said. The governor took a “rapid-response antigen test” Monday and it was negative, Hall said. This is the second time Kemp has had to go into quarantine over exposure to the virus. The news comes as the governor is planning to ease COVID-19 restrictions in the state. Georgia joins Texas, Mississippi and other states in easing their restrictions in recent weeks.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp plans to ease virus restrictions
Brian Kemp removes his face covering as he prepares to speak to reporters at the Macon State Farmers Market in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)ATLANTA – Georgia’s governor says he plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions in the state. Brian Kemp says that his administration will outline plans to rescind remaining coronavirus restrictions. The move is a “critical step” in moving the state back to a normalcy, Kemp said. AdGeorgia joins Texas, Mississippi and other states in easing their restrictions in recent weeks.
Georgia to vaccinate adults over 55, those with conditions
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)ATLANTA – Georgia will expand COVID-19 vaccine criteria starting Monday to everyone 55 and older, plus younger adults who are overweight or have serious health conditions, making more than two-thirds of Georgians who are 16 and older eligible for vaccination. The same data show Georgia has administered the lowest share of doses delivered among states, with more than one-third of doses still awaiting injection. At the rate shots were given in Georgia last week according to state numbers, that’s more than three weeks of supply. That’s where we are,” said Amber Schmidtke, an epidemiologist who writes a daily report about COVID-19 in Georgia. Adults younger than 55 who will qualify include those who have asthma, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease.
Georgia governor reflects on COVID-19 battle, touts economy
FILE - Georgia Gov. Geoff Duncan hold a news conference Wednesday evening, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, to condemn the breach of the U.S. Capitol. The 2020 election cycle has left Georgia's Republican governor bruised even though he wasn't on the ballot. READ: Georgia Gov. Kemp said his budget includes $40 million to establish a “Rural Innovation Fund” for rural Georgia businesses.
READ: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s State of the State address
But my fellow Georgians, the State of the State is resilient, and we will endure. The local health care infrastructure was being strained to the breaking point, and community spread of the virus was rampant. As we all know, COVID-19 has hit our most vulnerable Georgians the hardest, especially those residing and working in nursing homes. The state prioritized the fight against COVID-19 in two other specific areas: PPE procurement and additional health care personnel staffing. When it comes to meaningful, innovative reforms in health care, Georgia is leading the nation.
Kemp says Georgia will keep paying for nurses in pandemic
Brian Kemp looks on during a coronavirus briefing at the Capitol Friday, July 17, 2020, in Atlanta. Brian Kemp says the state of Georgia will keep paying for extra nurses to assist hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities that have struggled to find staff and keep up with demand because of the coronavirus pandemic. Kemp said Georgia will commit as much as $70 million to pay staffing agencies that are providing extra nurses through March. In the spring, the state set up a 20-bed overflow pod at the hospital, but it too is full. Northeast Georgia Health System said it had 262 confirmed COVID-19 patients on Wednesday across its four hospitals, with 37 more awaiting test results.
Kemp: COVID-19 vaccinations to start within weeks in Georgia
Kemp made the remarks in a meeting with leaders of the Georgia Health Care Association, a lobby group for the state’s nursing homes. The state has recorded nearly 472,000 confirmed and probable cases and nearly 9,500 confirmed and probable deaths, according to the state Public Health Department. Nearly 2,200 people were in Georgia hospitals on Monday with confirmed cases of COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic has been heavy at nursing homes, which have recorded nearly a third of all of Georgia’s deaths. They also made a subtle pitch for higher Medicaid payments, which finance the operation of many nursing homes.
Reported Georgia COVID-19 deaths approach 7,300
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 36 additional deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 7,294. The state Department of Public Health on Thursday reported an additional 1,297 confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of Thursday, a total of 327,407 confirmed cases had been reported by the state Department of Public Health. (Note: There are variations in the day-to-day data reported by the Georgia Department of Public Health. At times, cases and deaths are removed from the overall running total reported by the Department of Public Health.)
Georgia’s Gov. Kemp touts progress against COVID-19
Brian Kemp is touting “great progress” in easing Georgia’s COVID-19 epidemic, with newly reported cases and the number of hospitalized patients falling to levels last seen in June. Breakdown of cases reported WednesdayThe Georgia Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported 32 additional deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 7,259. The state Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported an additional 1,554 confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of Wednesday, a total of 326,142 confirmed cases had been reported by the state Department of Public Health. (Note: There are variations in the day-to-day data reported by the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Gov. Kemp extends COVID-19 orders as cases fall in Georgia
The Republican Kemp also extended the underlying state of emergency, which gives him powers to make other orders, through Oct. 10. In extending the orders, Kemp made no changes. Kemp has said local governments can’t enforce those orders inside businesses unless businesses want the governments to do so. Georgia is the sixth-highest state in new cases per capita over the last 14 days, according to figures kept by The Associated Press. The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 fell below 2,000 on Saturday for the first time since July 6, a number Kemp touted Monday as he signed his extended orders.
Georgia governor allows local mask mandates, with limits
ATLANTA Georgias governor, who has opposed local mask mandates and even sued over one in Atlanta, has signed a new executive order that allows local governments to enact mask requirements to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. As with previous orders, the one issued Saturday says residents and visitors of the state are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when they are outside of their homes, except when eating, drinking or exercising outside. But unlike previous orders, this one allows local governments in counties that have reached a threshold requirement to require the wearing of masks on government-owned property. Local mask mandates cannot result in an fines, fees or penalties against private businesses or organizations, and penalties against individuals for non-compliance cannot included a fine greater than $50 and cannot include prison time, the order says. Local mask requirements cant be enforced on residential property and can only be enforced on private property, including businesses, if the owner or occupant consents to enforcement, the order says.
Georgia governor asks residents to do ‘4 things for 4 weeks’ to slow spread of COVID-19
Brian Kemp is calling on residents to do “four things for four weeks” to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. He, along with the state Department of Public Health, is asking Georgians to follow these steps:Wear a mask when out in public or when you cannot keep distance inside. Wash your hands for 20 seconds several times throughout the day with soap and warm water. Follow this executive order and heed the guidance provided by public health officials. Updated guidance and information on COVID-19 can be found on DPH’s website.
Georgia Gov. expects people to do the right thing during holiday weekend
BRUNSWICK, Ga. Georgia Gov. Glynn County, where Brunswick is located, has been hit particularly hard by the sometimes deadly virus in recent weeks. Speaking in front of Southeast Georgia Health Systems Brunswick Campus, Kemp said there will be a big law enforcement presence at state parks and lakes and on the roadways this weekend. Much like we did before our mission in Georgia, is to help people follow the rules, and follow the guidelines, Kemp said. Look, the bottom line is we dont need to mandate people to do the right thing, he said.
Georgia governor says mask mandate not needed amid spike in coronavirus cases
Brian Kemp says he has not yet weighed whether the state will take legal action against local governments that try to impose mask requirements, as Georgia faces a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The Republican governor held a news conference Wednesday morning before departing on a statewide tour to promote wearing a mask, but said he will not mandate it. A series of executive orders from Kemp have prohibited local governments from setting coronavirus restrictions that go beyond those imposed by the state. Georgia has seen a startling surge in confirmed cases of the coronavirus in recent weeks. Georgia has had nearly 85,000 total confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to data released Wednesday from the state Department of Public Health, though experts say official counts likely only capture a fraction of those infected.
Gov. Kemp signs Georgia’s $25.9 billion budget
Brian Kemp signed a $25.9 billion budget Tuesday, one day before the start of the new fiscal year. The budget promises sharp cuts but avoids unpaid employee furloughs and layoffs. Yes, this budget reflects our values as a state. These are challenging times, and the budget reflects that reality.”The state will spend $25.9 billion of its own revenue, a 10% cut from what was originally expected. Combined with $15.1 billion in federal money and $11.4 billion in non-tax revenue, Georgia’s government plans to spend a total of $52.5 billion in the fiscal year that starts Wednesday.
Georgia again reports more than 2,200 new COVID-19 cases
The Georgia Department of Public Health on Monday reported 2,207 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 79,417. It was the second day in a row the state reported more than 2,200 additional cases. In the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, there had been 1,351 COVID-19 cases and 29 previously reported deaths as of Monday. Since Sunday, Glynn County recorded 14 additional cases, Ware County reported two and Camden, Charlton and Pierce counties each reported one. View the chart below for a full breakdown of Southeast Georgia counties
With more in hospital, Gov. Kemp says Georgia gaining on COVID-19
Brian Kemp said Wednesday that Georgia continues to make solid progress in the fight against COVID-19 even as the number of people hospitalized with the respiratory illness continued to rise. The University of Georgia and Kennesaw State University are the latest of Georgias 26 public colleges and universities to announce its plans for in-person instruction in the fall. The universities joined others, including Fort Valley State and private universities Emory and Mercer, in announcing it would wrap up in-person instruction before Thanksgiving. Among other universities announcing plans for students in recent days are Georgia Southern University, the University of North Georgia and the University of West Georgia. Some large public universities including Georgia Tech and Georgia State University have yet to announce detailed plans for students.
Kemp and Woods want second year of no state tests in Georgia
Georgias governor and the state school superintendent say theyll ask federal permission to suspend all state standardized testing for a second year. Brian Kemp and State Superintendent Richard Woods said in a joint statement Thursday that the tests would be counterproductive given disruptions to the upcoming 2020-2021 school year from COVID-19. They also say they would rather the state spend the money it would pay for tests on helping students in other ways. Kemp and Woods said they also want to suspend the numerical grading system of schools and school districts that underlies the A-to-F grades issued by the governors office. The U.S. Department of Education would have to approve the suspension of tests and of the grading system.
11 more COVID-19 cases reported in Southeast Georgia; state passes 2,000 deaths
Georgia surpassed 47,000 reported COVID-19 cases and 2,000 deaths on Sunday, according to data from the state Department of Public Health. The Georgia Department of Public Health reported at 1 p.m. on Sunday that the states caseload reached 47,063, an increase of 1,393 cases since Friday. In the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, there were 11 new cases reported since Friday. View the chart below for a full breakdown of Southeast Georgia counties:For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. The public health state of emergency is now extended through July 12.
14 new COVID-19 cases reported in Southeast Georgia; state nears 2,000 deaths
Brian Kemp extended the states public health emergency and announced that bars and nightclubs would soon be able to reopen, the state surpassed 45,600 COVID-19 cases and neared 2,000 deaths, according to data from the state Department of Public Health. The Georgia Department of Public Health reported at 1 p.m. Friday that the states caseload reached 45,670, an increase of 600 cases in a span of 24 hours. In the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, there were 14 new cases reported Friday. View the chart below for a full breakdown of Southeast Georgia counties:For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. The public health state of emergency is now extended through July 12.
Gov. Kemp says we cant fight virus from home as cases tick up
Brian Kemp said that he wants to lift more restrictions on businesses as long as people continue to heed coronavirus guidance from officials and public health experts. We cant keep fighting the virus from our living room, Kemp said, according to video of his remarks posted online by WMAZ-TV. Georgia has had more than 45,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from the state Department of Public Health. The Georgia Department of Public Health reported at 1 p.m. Thursday that the states caseload reached 45,070, an increase of 649 cases in a span of 24 hours. A seven-day moving average of confirmed cases provided by the health department shows the number of new daily cases in Georgia declining between April 22 and May 11, then beginning to trend back upward.
Gov. Kemp to announce new guidance for Georgia businesses; COVID-19 cases pass 39,800
Brian Kemp said he plans to announce new guidance soon about Georgia businesses closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, Georgia had 39,801 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, according to data from the state Department of Public Health. The Georgia Department of Public Health reported at least 1,687 people had died as of Wednesday evening, including 33 deaths that were reported in the last 30 hours. Of the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, Ware County has been hit the hardest, with 191 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths, including one that was reported Monday night. In the region, there have been 482 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths.
Georgia COVID-19 cases surpass 37,000
As of Saturday afternoon, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 37,147 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, up 466 from Friday afternoon. In the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, there have been 427 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths -- the highest concentration in Ware County. For a full breakdown of all those Southeast Georgia counties, see the table below. In the state of 10.6 million people, 321,069 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, the state reported Friday. The Republican governor reiterated that he believes Georgia is containing the COVID-19 respiratory illness, despite areas of concern.
Georgia COVID-19 cases reach 36,681
As of Friday, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 36,681 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, up 723 from Thursday. In the six Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax, there have been 408 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths -- the highest concentration in Ware County. For a full breakdown of all those Southeast Georgia counties, see the table below. In the state of 10.6 million people, 301,874 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, the state reported Friday. The Republican governor reiterated that he believes Georgia is containing the COVID-19 respiratory illness, despite areas of concern.
Gov. Kemp: Georgia bars, nightclubs must remain closed through end of May
Kemp said he’s most encouraged by low demand for critical care hospital beds since he started loosening restrictions last month. “Whatever’s happening out there, nobody’s going to the hospital because of it,” Kemp said at a news conference. The Northeast Georgia Health System, a four-hospital group based in Gainesville, still says that it could exceed the capacity of its staff to care for patients next week. Bars, nightclubs and performance venues remain closed for now. Kemp said he would decide at the end of the month whether to loosen more restrictions.
Georgia governor eliminates driving test requirement for teens due to coronavirus pandemic
New Georgia drivers will not be required to take a road test in order to get their license. Drivers turning 15 years old from March 14 through May 13 will not have to take a road test to get their license. If you meet that, you’ll be able to go online and get your license if you meet all other requirements. Those other requirements include being of legal age to drive, meeting school attendance and driving training requirements. Any driver over 17, with no current license or permit, must schedule an appointment to take the appropriate knowledge exams.
Despite the green light from Georgia governor, not all movie theaters or restaurants will reopen Monday
ST. MARYS, Ga. – Movies theaters are allowed to reopen and limited in-restaurant dining can resume on Monday under Gov. Georgia Theatre Company owns 22 theaters in the Peach State, including four in Southeast Georgia area: Glynn Place, Kings Bay, Island and Mall Cinemas. “Although the Governor will allow us to open our theatres in Georgia on Monday, we will not be opening for several weeks. Some Georgians told News4Jax on Sunday they still won’t go to restaurants or movie theaters for a while. “We don’t want to risk our employees, we don’t wanna risk our customers, you know, customers are our priority," Alvarez said.
Gov. Kemp: Some shuttered Georgia businesses allowed to reopen Friday
“In the same way that we carefully closed businesses and urged operations to end to mitigate the virus’s spread, today we’re announcing plans to incrementally and safely reopen sectors of our economy,” Kemp said. “We will be evaluating the data and conferring with public health officials to determine the best course of action for those establishments," Kemp said. Kemp said elderly and medically fragile people should continue to stay at home until May 13, the day Georgia’s public health emergency will expire. “The bottom line is, social distancing worked,” state Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey told a handful of reporters after Kemp’s news conference. As of Monday evening, at least 775 deaths statewide have been linked to the virus, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Care facilities remain hot spots amid virus growth in Georgia
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities continue to be hot spots for infections in the state. The South Central Health District said Sunday that 16 people have tested positive for the virus at an unnamed long-term care facility in Wilcox County, northeast of Albany. The state Department of Public Health last week confirmed infections in 80 long-term care facilities statewide, with at least 81 deaths resulting. Georgia has struggled to ramp up testing, crossing the 50,000 test mark only in recent days. Randolph County has reported 122 confirmed infections, the highest rate in Georgia and more than 10 times the rate statewide.
Brantley, Pierce County COVID-19 deaths among 348 total reported in Georgia
After the first three COVID-19 cases were reported Monday in Brantley County, the county reported its first death linked to the new coronavirus Tuesday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Ware County was the Southeast Georgia county tracked by News4Jax that showed the biggest increase, with a total of 37 cases reported Tuesday. There have been a total of five COVID-19 deaths reported in Southeast Georgia counties tracked by News4Jax: three in Ware County, one in Pierce County and one in Brantley County. Fulton County still has the highest number of confirmed cases in Georgia with 1,185, and 39 deaths reported. The small Southwest Georgia county of Dougherty has 56 reported deaths, the most of any county in the state, and 973 confirmed cases as of Tuesday evening.
First 3 COVID-19 cases in Brantley County among more than 7,500 in Georgia
The first three COVID-19 cases were reported Monday in Brantley County, the only Southeast Georgia that had not yet seen a confirmed case of the new coronavirus, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Of the confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide, 101 cases have been reported in Southeast Georgia, with 16 new cases reported Monday night: the three cases in Brantley County (up two cases from Monday morning), 28 cases in Ware County (up six cases), 23 cases in Pierce County (up two cases), 15 cases in Camden County (up six cases) and three cases in Chalton County (up one case). There was no change in the number of cases reported in Glynn County (29 cases). Fulton County still has the highest number of confirmed cases in Georgia with 1,053, and 32 deaths reported. The small Southwest Georgia county of Dougherty has had 44 reported deaths, the most of any county in the state, and 722 confirmed cases.
Mayor of Tybee Island assails Georgia governor’s ‘reckless mandate’ to reopen state’s beaches
TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. – Tybee Island, one of Georgia's most popular vacation destinations, depends on beachgoers to keep the town's economy alive. The governor put Tybee Island back in the beach business -- whether the town liked it or not. Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions fired back on Saturday, issuing a statement saying she and the town council don’t want the beaches reopened now. ‘We’re at a very precarious situation’In a video posted on Facebook, Sessions asked people to voluntarily stay away from Tybee Island’s beaches. Our governor has mandated that the beaches in Georgia be open.”Tybee Island is located near Savannah and has a resident population of about 3,000 people.
Gov. Kemp orders Georgia public schools closed through April 24
Brian Kemp on Thursday ordered public elementary and secondary schools to remain closed for in-person instruction through April 24. Brantley CountyThe Brantley County School System also posted on Facebook about Kemp’s announcement:“Gov. Kemp has just issued an executive order that all Georgia schools will remain closed through April 24. Therefore, all Charlton County Schools will be closed, and it is anticipated we will return to school on Monday, April 27, 2020. Ware CountyAfter receiving information from the governor that all Georgia schools will remain closed through April 24, Ware County Superintendent Bert Smith sent a message to parents on Facebook.
House panels reject some Kemp cuts in current Georgia budget
ATLANTA – Members of the Georgia House of Representatives are rejecting some midyear budget cuts proposed by Gov. Three subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee made recommendations Thursday for amendments to the current budget, which runs through June 30. Kemp is proposing more than $200 million in midyear reductions in state spending, citing a shortfall in projected state tax revenues. The entirety of the House’s budget math will become clear Tuesday, with the remaining subcommittees and then the full Appropriations Committee scheduled to vote on amendments to the current spending plan. The House actions also give clues to the spending plan for the 2021 budget year beginning July 1.