Governor, state health officials urging everyone to wear face masks while in public

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp and state health officials are asking all Georgians to wear a face covering when they are in a public setting.

Kemp announced Thursday that he was going to let the statewide shelter-in-place order to expire, but he is urging all Georgia residents to maintain strict social distancing standards if they are going out and about.

“A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people are in a community setting where social distancing may be difficult such as in the grocery store or picking up food at a restaurant or riding public transportation, and especially in areas of widespread community transmission of COVID-19,” the Georgia Department of Public Health said in a news release Friday.


State health officials said face coverings help slow the spread of the coronavirus as well as help people who may be asymptomatic with the virus from spreading it to others.

“Cloth face coverings should allow for breathing without restriction, cover the nose and mouth and be laundered and machine dried after use,” the department said.

The state said the face coverings are not meant to be a substitute for social distancing. They are still urging people to stay at least 6 feet away from one another, not to gather in groups and to avoid crowded places and mass gatherings.

The state is also reminding people to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly, and to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

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