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The July 15 Executive Order demands that all businesses, establishments, corporations or organizations that are not Critical Infrastructure that continue in-person operations shall implement measures which mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 among its workforce. Such measures shall include among others, the following:

  • Screening and evaluating workers who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Enhancing sanitation as appropriate, disinfecting common surfaces regularly;
  • Requiring hand washing or sanitation at appropriate places within the location;
  • Prohibiting gatherings during hours of operation;
  • Permitting workers to take breaks and meals outside, in their office or personal workspace, or in such other areas where proper social distancing is attainable;
  • Implementing teleworking and staggered shifts as practicable, as well as holding all meetings and conferences virtually as practicable;
  • Delivering intangible services remotely as practicable;
  • For retailers and service providers, providing for alternative points of sale outside of buildings, including curbside pick-up; and,
  • For retailers and service providers, requiring all open cash registers to be at least six (6) feet apart.

The Order goes on to provide specific requirements for various industries. The first industry that Governor Kemp addresses in his Executive Order is restaurants and food service establishments All restaurants and dining rooms, as well as all banquet facilities, private event facilities, and private reception venues where food is served are required to implement certain measures: these establishments “shall implement measures which mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 among its patrons and workforce.” Such measures shall include the following:

  • Keeping sick employees out of the workplace including all workers who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19, and any worker with known/suspected COVID-19 must follow CDC guidelines to self-isolate for at least 10 days;
  • Implementing teleworking for all possible workers and holding all meetings and conferences virtually whenever possible;
  • Implementing staggered shifts for all possible workers and using staggered work stations, and physically changing the layout of the restaurant to permit social distancing;
  • Requiring all workers to wear face coverings when interacting with customers that are cleaned or replaced daily;
  • Establishing a limit for the maximum number of workers permitted in break rooms to reduce contact;
  • Thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the entire facility focusing on high contact areas, and between diners, sanitizing table condiments, digital ordering devices, check presenters, self-service areas, tabletops, and commonly touched areas;
  • Using disposable paper menus to be discarded after each patron use if possible;
  • Redesigning seating arrangements to ensure at least six (6) feet of separation from seating to seating or utilizing physical barriers to separate groups of seating within six (6) feet;
  • Where practicable, physical barriers such as partitions or Plexiglas at registers should be used; and
  • Providing hand-sanitizer.

The Order goes on to provide similar specific lists of required actions that non-Critical Infrastructure businesses such as gyms, hair and nail salons, estheticians, movie theaters, bowling alleys, bars, and amusement parks.

Critical Infrastructure businesses that continue in-person operation are also told that they “shall implement measures which mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19.” Although the Executive Order makes many of the measures imposed for non-Critical Infrastructure businesses optional for Critical Infrastructure, depending on the circumstances, the businesses are instructed to implement them to “the maximum extent practicable.” Additionally, the Order spells out specific requirements for schools, daycare facilities and camps.

If you are a business in Georgia, we strongly recommend that you review the Governor’s Order to see what provisions are applicable to your business. The Executive Order can be found at https://gov.georgia.gov/executive-action/executive-orders/2020-executive-orders then download file 07.15.20.01 Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19.

This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific developing situation. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

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