UPDATED: Governor extends Covid-19 state of emergency to May 13


UPDATED: Governor’s office says more details, including about the shelter in place order due to expire April 13, will be made available at 4 p.m. today — 

Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, and House Speaker David Ralston announced plans to extend Georgia’s public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Under state law, the Governor may renew the public health state of emergency, which was otherwise set to expire on April 13, 2020. Lt. Governor Duncan and Speaker Ralston agree it is necessary for the public health emergency to be renewed and will not be requesting a special legislative session, which was tentatively scheduled for April 15, 2020.

TheCitizen.com contacted Cody Hall, Gov. Kemp’s press secretary for details: “The news release didn’t mention shelter in place or other restrictions. So we need specifics about what changes April 13 and what does not.”

“We will have plenty of details today at 4 p.m.,” Hall replied via email.

The governor’s news release said the following:

“To ensure the health and well-being of Georgians, I will extend the public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020. This measure will allow us to continue to deploy 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. We deeply appreciate the hard work of Georgians who are sheltering in place, using social distancing, and helping us flatten the curve. We are in this fight together,” said Governor Kemp. “I appreciate Lt. Governor Duncan and Speaker Ralston continuing to work with us to ensure resources are available to proactively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I thank them for their support of an extended emergency declaration. In these unprecedented times, we ask Georgians for their continued patience and prayers, especially for first responders, law enforcement, and the healthcare workers caring for the medically fragile. They are going above and beyond to keep us all safe, and we will never be able to repay them for their sacrifices.”

“We must continue our aggressive fight against COVID-19,” said Lt. Governor Duncan. “By extending the public health state of emergency, we can ensure Georgians have access to every available state resource during this crisis. Together, Speaker Ralston and I are working closely with Governor Kemp to do all we can to make sure we are meeting the needs of every Georgian. The General Assembly will continue to remain vigilant and available to assist our citizens in any way possible.”

“The entirety of our state government is working to protect the health and safety of our citizens, and I appreciate the work of our state personnel and first responders during this challenging time,” said Speaker David Ralston. “While we have difficult days ahead, we continue to coordinate with both local and federal partners in responding to needs as they arise. As Georgians, we will persevere and emerge stronger on the other side.”


  1. This is poor journalism. The state of emergency allows access to federal crisis funding and priority to supplies. Georgia has been under a state of emergency way longer than the shelter in place. Please learn the difference.

  2. Cal, I appreciate your coverage, but I feel your headline is misleading when it announces the Georgia state “lockdown” will remain in place until May 13.

    Reading the statement from the Governor as presented in The Citizen article, I see the Governor’s emergency authority has been extended to May 13, but there is no comment about extending the shelter in place notice. That’s a pretty significant misrepresentation.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the shelter in place notice is extended beyond April 13, but that has not yet been announced by Governor Kemp.

    During this time it’s important for everyone to be accurate in what they report.

    • Thanks, HF. Headline has been changed to reflect that the governor’s action was an extension of the state of emergency. My misreading — my apology. As you will note in the revised story above, our request to the governor’s office for clarity on what this extension means for the average citizen was not forthcoming. We will wait until 4 p.m. to find out what has been decided.