Gov. Kemp urges Georgians to remain vigilant over Thanksgiving holiday

With the holiday season upon us, state officials warned Georgians not to let their guard down when it comes to coronavirus.

"I know, like you, many are looking forward to spending time with their loved ones over the holidays.  I am too, but I will tell you, we have to continue to remain vigilant," said Gov. Brian Kemp in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Gov. Kemp, along with Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey, urged people to continue to follow their "Four Things for Fall" guidance:

  • Wear a Mask
  • Practice Social Distancing
  • Wash Your Hands
  • Follow Public Health Guidance

Kemp added that people should also get a flu shot to help the state avoid a "twin-demic" of COVID-19 and influenza.


State leaders asked Georgians to alter their traditional Thanksgiving plans by celebrating with just those in their household and including any others virtually.  For those who plan to gather with people outside their immediate family, they urged them to keep the numbers small and to stay outdoors. 

Gov. Kemp said it is particularly important to consider the risks to those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions. 

"Our fight for COVID-19 has uprooted many of the norms that we're used to, especially during the holidays.  I know that people are frustrated and ready to return to normal," said Gov. Kemp.  "I am as well, but we cannot grow weary.  We have to keep our foot on the gas in this fight and as we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, I think we all have plenty to be thankful for." 

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage

The state has seen an uptick in the number of people getting tested for coronavirus in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, but Dr. Toomey warned that people should not let that give them a false sense of security.

"If you get tested today and you're negative, it does not mean you will not be positive in a day or two or three.  And so, it's particularly important that we don't use the COVID test as a justification to go and not follow the guidelines," Dr. Toomey explained. 

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.