Georgia to Reopen Gyms, Beauty Salons and More This Friday Despite Concerns from Health Officials

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is pushing to reopen some of the state's businesses as soon as this Friday.

On Monday, Kemp announced that gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians and massage therapists can take customers starting Friday, April 24. The establishments will have to work under "minimum basic operations" during the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Kemp explained the level of operations on Twitter, writing that businesses will be "screening workers for fever and respiratory illness, enhancing workplace sanitation, wearing masks & gloves if appropriate, separating workspaces by six feet, teleworking if possible & implementing staggered shifts."

Gathering spaces like bars, amusement parks and live performing venues will remain closed, though the Governor said that dine-in restaurants and movie theaters can open on Monday.

President Donald Trump didn't leave the choice of reopening communities up to state governors. He wrongly claimed he had power and was forced to reverse himself.

While most of the country is eager to resume their pre-quarantine lives and conservative groups have organized protests against the current restrictions across the country, health experts say that it is not a decision that should be rushed.

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On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Associated Press that the country is not equipped with the level of testing that experts believe is critical to secure before reopening states. “We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet,” Fauci said.

Fauci, a leader in the White House coronavirus task force and leading expert in infectious diseases, said during an appearance on Good Morning America on Monday that the complicated issue of stay-at-home orders should not be relaxed too soon.

“If you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re gonna set yourself back," said Fauci. "So as painful as it is to go by the careful guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening, it’s going to backfire. That’s the problem.”

Speaking about the Georgia governor's decision to launch reopening processes later this week, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms told CNN on Monday night that she is "concerned" about the move, and that it's not "based on anything that's logical."

"I've spoken with several leaders across this state," she said. "So we really are at a loss, and I am concerned as a mother and as the mayor of our capital city."

According to data compiled by The New York Times, there have been 18,447 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 767 deaths in Georgia, as of April 21.

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