Kelly Girtz, who serves as the mayor of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, said that despite Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to open certain businesses on Friday, many business owners in the community are saying they don't feel safe and they won't return to work.
“These are all high contact environments and places where there are many hands and individuals who come in contact with the same surfaces, and we know it is important to restrain individuals who come into contact with places like this," Girtz continued.
The Democratic mayor said that he understands peoples’ frustrations and wants to support small businesses, but the safety of his constituents comes first.
“There’s nothing that makes me happier than a good morning at the gym, but I’m subsisting here at the house, and I recommend those across the state and across the nation take the same posture right now," Girtz said.
Girtz also said he had no advance notice of Kemp’s order to reopen certain Georgia businesses, nor has he had any contact with the governor’s office about changes set to take place next week.
“Right now I’m going directly to the public, and so I’m speaking to residents of Athens-Clark County, I’m speaking to business owners, and many are saying, just as I feel, we��re not going to frequent businesses right now because we don’t feel safe, we’re not going to return to work," he said.