Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he only just learned that people without symptoms can spread the coronavirus and that the revelation affected his decision to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order Wednesday.
“So what we’ve been telling people from directives from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] for weeks now, that if you start feeling bad stay home, those individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt bad,” Mr. Kemp, a Republican, said during a press conference Wednesday.
“Well, we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours,” he added. “This is a game-changer for us.”
Mr. Kemp had previously resisted calls for a statewide order, saying it was best left to local governments. The new order that all Georgians stay home unless conducting essential business will take effect Friday through April 13.
According to NBC News, prominent doctors including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, have publicly discussed asymptomatic transmission for several weeks.
The CDC said as early as March 30 that there are asymptomatic infections and pre-symptomatic infections with COVID-19.