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Kemp orders Georgians to shelter in place, closes K-12 public schools for the school year
Gov. Brian Kemp
Gov. Brian Kemp

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Gov. Brian Kemp will sign an executive order Wednesday, April 1, closing K-12 public schools for the remainder of the school year and sign an order for a statewide shelter-in-place to run from Friday, April 3 through April 13.

“This date is in line with our public health emergency order. Dr. (Kathleen) Toomey and I will continue to work day and night to finalize the order to make sure it keeps our citizens healthy and protected in every ZIP code across our state. We’re taking action to protect our hospitals, to help our medical providers and prepare for the patient surge that we know is coming.”

Kemp temporarily suspended certificate-of-need laws to expand hospital capacities. As of Wednesday morning, there were 3,520 medical surgical beds, 450 beds and 1,006 ventilators at hospitals across the state. Georgia is expected to reach its peak hospital capacity on April 23.

“This model assumes that Georgians continue to abide by the state’s orders and use social distancing methods through the end of May,” Kemp said.

Kemp notified school superintendents of his decision just before his 4 p.m. press conference, according to the Forsyth County Schools system.

Kemp said online learning will continue for schools, but the impact of his order on other end-of-year matters, like graduation and testing, are expected to be addressed "in the coming days," the school system said in a statement.

"FCS understands that students, staff, and parents/guardians have many questions regarding this decision," the school system said. "Once we have more information from the State, we will be able to share what the remainder of our school year will look like for all involved. 

"Thank you for your continued patience as we work through these unprecedented times. We appreciate your continued support to keep our students and staff safe."

Brian Paglia contributed to this report.

This story will be updated.