ATLANTA (WSAV) – Governor Brian Kemp has issued a state of emergency for Georgia, effective Saturday morning, to assist officials across the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to state records, Kemp’s office says it appears this is Georgia’s first-ever public health emergency.

The governor said the decision was made based on President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration.

“This declaration will greatly assist health and emergency management officials across Georgia by deploying all available resources for the mitigation and treatment of COVID-19,” Kemp said.

He will call for a special General Assembly session Monday morning to “ratify this action through a joint resolution.”

Kemp further stated:

At this time, it is appropriate for faith-based organizations and similar entities to consider cancellation of public events and services. Contact your local public health office or consult official sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health, for helpful guidance on decision-making. Elderly citizens and those with chronic, underlying health conditions face a serious threat to their health, and we must do everything in our power to reduce risk associated with this virus. Continue to support one another, be mindful of potential exposure, use best practices to prevent infection, and pray for your fellow Americans in the weeks ahead.

As of Friday evening, Georgia has reported 42 coronavirus cases and one death.