ATLANTA—Gov. Brian Kemp has deputized Georgia's sheriffs to shut down businesses that fail to comply with his April 1 emergency order.

It also directs sheriffs "to provide notice and a reasonable time to allow businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations the opportunity to comply with directions from sheriffs or their deputies prior to mandating closure." 

Kemp did not specify what a "reasonable time" to comply might be.

The April 1 emergency order requires many non-essential businesses like barber shops and live entertainment venues to shut down or to follow "Minimum Basic Operations," like sending in one person to cut checks, by 6 p.m. Friday, April 3. It also directs businesses to provide employees with personal protective equipment like masks and gloves, as well as materials to sanitize their work areas.

The governor's emergency order uses wording like "Providing personal protective equipment as available and appropriate to the function and location of the worker within the business location."

It's not clear how all businesses will be able to comply when gloves and sanitizing wipes are in short supply and hand sanitizer has been nearly impossible to find on retail shelves over the past couple of weeks.

In Clayton County, employees of businesses such as chiropractor's offices and fast-food restaurants have alleged to the News that their employers are not observing sanitary procedures, potentially placing both employees and customers at risk of COVID-19. 

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Crime and Safety Reporter

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