ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's governor said Monday that he was ordering all bars and nightclubs around the state to close because of the coronavirus.
The order will take effect at noon on Tuesday and last for just under two weeks, Gov. Brian Kemp said at a news conference. He said the state would also ban gatherings of 10 or more people unless people could maintain 6 feet (1.83 meters) of distance. The Department of Public Health would have the authority to shut down businesses that don't comply.
“I would ask for everyone’s cooperation over the next two weeks," he said. He said the measures would “protect the medically fragile, mitigate potential exposure in public venues and allow the state to ramp up emergency preparedness efforts as cases increase in each region.”
Kemp had previously ordered schools to close but has refrained from taking stronger steps. Individual counties in Georgia have placed restrictions on businesses and gatherings.
Kemp's announcement came as the number of cases of the virus in the state rose to 772. The death toll remained at 25.