By Marla Ogletree

Governor Brian Kemp has announced that Georgia’s shelter-in-place order has been extended until April 30 as coronavirus continues to spread, leaving Charlton with a total of three confirmed cases (total) so far.

The decision came after the extension of the statewide public health emergency, lasting until May 13. Kemp first declared a public health emergency on March 14 as COVID-19 began its “March” through Georgia. 

“This measure will allow us to continue to deploy resources to communities in need, lend support to frontline medical providers, and keep preparing as we brace for potential patient surge in our health-care facilities,” Kemp said in a prepared statement. “We deeply appreciate the hard work of Georgians who are sheltering in place, using social distancing, and helping us flatten the curve. We are in this fight together.”

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Thursday, April 9, the 2020 Primary Election has been postponed from May 19 to June 9, due to the shelter-in-place order.

“This decision allows our office and county election officials to continue to put in place contingency plans to ensure that voting can be safe and secure when in-person voting begins and prioritizes the health and safety of voters, county election officials and poll workers,” Raffensperger said in a statement.

Early voting for the primary now starts May 18. Voter registration will end May 11.

In an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to poll workers and volunteers, active Georgia voters should have received absentee ballot applications in the mail. Voters are encouraged to fill out their information and mail the application to the Elections Office.