Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered the state's public school system to remain closed through April 24 out of concern for the spread of coronavirus.
In an executive order, Kemp said that further action was needed to slow COVID-19's spread through the state. All public K-12 schools will be closed until April 24, 2020, with limited exceptions, such as meal preparation and distribution or other necessary functions.
The University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia will remain closed through the end of the semester, as they have already transititioned to online learning.
"I am deeply grateful to State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the Georgia Department of Education, superintendents, and parents for keeping us informed and helping us make the right decision for our students," Kemp said in a statement. "Throughout this process, we will continue to seek the advice of public health officials, school leaders, and families to ensure the health and safety of the educational community. As we approach April 24, 2020, we ask for continued patience and flexibility since circumstances may change, but we encourage families to stay strong and follow the guidance of federal, state, and local leaders in the weeks ahead."
As the number of cases continues to climb and nearly 100 of the state's 159 counties have been impacted by the virus, Kemp is facing numerous calls to order a statewide stay-at-home order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier this week, the governor issued an order shutting down bars and nightclubs statewide, limiting most public gatherings of 10 or more people and requiring "medically fragile" Georgians to stay indoors for two weeks.