If you violate Georgia's shelter-in-place order, then you are breaking the law

Gov. Brian Kemp's statewide shelter in place order goes into effect 6 p.m. Friday, April 3, and goes through April 13. The goal is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. So, what happens if you violate the stay-at-home ordinance? 

You are breaking the law.

Those who violate the governor's order are committing a misdemeanor, which is a crime in the state of Georgia. 

"If you are not sheltering in place and none of the four exceptions essential services, minimum basic operations, critical infrastructure, or necessary travel applies to your activities, you will receive a warning from law enforcement and risk facing criminal charges if you fail to comply," according to the governor's office.


 Warning signs about the coronavirus flash over interstates in Atlanta, GA. Photo: Austin McAfee/FOX 5 Atlanta

What does it mean to "shelter in place?" According to the governor's office, it means residents should remain in their residences and take "every possible precaution to limit social interaction," to prevent the spread or infection of COVID-19.

Kemp's order replaces all other orders from local municipalities (cities and counties) who previously put into effect shelter-in-place orders or curfews over the course of the last few weeks. 

More guidance on the order can be found here.

More than 5,800 coronavirus cases have been reported in the state. Health officials say more than 180 have died and over 1,000 people have been hospitalized due to the virus outbreak.

The Department of Public Health says it is working closely with the CDC and state partners to respond to COVID-19 in the U.S., including Georgia. The goal is to quickly identify cases of COVID-19 and take the appropriate public health action to reduce its spread and protect the general public. 

SEE ALSO: Atlanta mayor giving hazard pay to city employees

Public health officials have urged social distancing to slow down or stop the spread of coronavirus. According to the CDC, adults who are 60+ and people with serious medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, are at higher risk of getting very sick from coronavirus. 

SEE ALSO: Know how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting Georgia

A copy of Gov. Kemp's executive order can be found here. For more information on the stay-at-home order, click here.

LIVE: Interactive map tracks global spread of COVID-19

Best prevention measures:

  • -Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
  • -If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • -Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • -Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • -Stay home when you are sick.
  • -Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • -Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Georgia Coronavirus Hotline available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.: 844-442-2681


RELATED: CoronavirusNOW.com, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.