Video of packed Augusta dance floor surfaces a day after Kemp’s COVID-19 order

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 6:51 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - What appears to be a packed dance floor at a club in Augusta is raising a lot of eyebrows after Georgia Governot Brian Kemp just renewed his executive order banning “overly large gatherings.”

The scene of the Country Club on Washington Road is sparking an important question: Where does law enforcement come into play to control crowds at local bars and clubs?

According to Gov. Kemp’s executive order, bars can only allow gatherings of 50 people or 35 percent of the total occupancy. Advice from the Georgia Department of Health suggests all bars should avoid any event that includes close contact.

The club told News 12 in a statement that it “followed the executive order’s rules by only allowing the 35 percent capacity on Saturday.”

Even when those guidelines are followed, a video surfaced showing people still weren’t social distancing.

News 12 reached out to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, whose deputies are seen in the video at the Country Club, to see what the agency can enforce. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office declined to interview but said in a statement it is “investigating the incident to see if there were code violations — or if it violated the executive order.”

According to Gov. Kemp’s office, all local law enforcement agencies can enforce restrictions on the bar, but it’s not a required task by order.

The executive order Gov. Kemp just renewed lasts until Aug. 15. After that, he can renew it for another 30 days if he chooses to.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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