Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Monday that certain businesses in the US state could reopen as soon as Friday -- catching local mayors and officials off guard.
The mayors of Albany and Augusta, both Georgia cities, told CNN they were surprised by Kemp's announcement.
"We were all caught off guard quite frankly surprised that the governor moved as swiftly as he did to open the state back up," Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. said.
State Rep. CaMia Hopson from Albany also criticized the move, saying reopening "may be beneficial to our economy but is in no way beneficial to the health of our city."
"I’ve already heard from several health care workers who have worked tirelessly, risking their lives to care for those who have been impacted by Covid-19, feel that this is a slap in their faces," she said.
Hopson added that the city doesn't have the capacity to support a potential surge in cases if the reopening causes further infections -- and she believes a statewide shelter-in-place order should continue for several more weeks.
"We appreciate all of the support that the state has provided us during this crisis; however, we cannot safely get people back to work without making sure people in Albany, Georgia, especially our health providers, can stay safe.”