Governor says people know what to do to keep COVID-19 cases down

Governor says people know what to do to keep COVID-19 cases down

ATLANTA — Only Channel 2 Action News spoke with Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday about why he didn’t expand COVID-19 restrictions before the July 4th holiday.

Kemp told Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston that he is concerned about young people and the virus.

He said he didn’t expand the COVID-19 restrictions because he believes everyone knows what they are supposed to do.

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“Stay six feet apart. I want people to enjoy themselves and be safe during the holiday weekend. But the guidance that we have given, washing hands, wearing a mask when you’re in public and socially distancing yourself -- it works,” Kemp said.

Kemp said he’s concerned about Georgia’s young people. Channel 2 Action News found video on social media that showed hundreds of people dancing in the street in Atlanta without social distancing or face coverings.

In Athens, there’s been a dramatic uptick in positive cases.

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"Our younger population, maybe not really believing how much community spread was going on, we really need to double down and really get our young folks to wear a mask," Kemp said.

Kemp also signed into law new guidelines to protect seniors from abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities, but also increase protections from COVID-19.

"More accountability, increases penalties, but we also were able to add -- maybe this was a blessing during a pandemic -- add some testing requirements due to COVID that I think will be a big help as we continue," Kemp said.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also expressed concern about the increase in COVID-19 cases with young people, calling the uptick alarming.

Gov. Brian Kemp says he will not make wearing masks mandatory in Georgia