NRI Pulse Staff Report
Atlanta, GA, March 27, 2020: Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash and the mayors of the cities in Gwinnett have issued stay at home orders for their respective jurisdictions.
“This move is being made in a coordinated fashion in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to preserve the community’s capacity to provide essential governmental and healthcare services,” said a press release issued by the county.
This local emergency order will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. on March 28, 2020, through 11:59 p.m. on April 13, 2020, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended in writing by the chairman.
Residents may leave their homes to conduct activities that are essential to their own health and safety and that of family/household members, partners, significant others, and pets. Essential activities include, but are not limited to, obtaining food, medication and medical supplies, household consumer supplies and healthcare services or caring for a family member or pet in another household. It is also permissible to engage in outdoor activity, like walking, hiking, running or bicycling, as long as individuals comply with social distancing requirements.
The local emergency order also mandates all businesses that operate in Gwinnett County to cease all activity except for the minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’ inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, and related functions. This directive applies to for-profit, nonprofit or private educational entities; it excludes essential businesses. Businesses consisting exclusively of employees or contractors who work from home may continue to operate.
All essential businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open while adhering to social distancing requirements. Such businesses include healthcare, grocery stores; certified farmer’s markets; organizations that provide food, shelter and social services to those in need; news agencies; gas stations, auto supply and auto repair shops; banks; and restaurants that offer delivery, takeout or drive-thru service.
Individuals who work to provide essential services or essential products may leave their places of residence to carry out these activities.
The order also makes exceptions for essential governmental functions and essential infrastructure, meaning public works construction, private construction and related activities, utilities, telecommunications and solid waste services. First responders, emergency management personnel, 911 dispatchers, court personnel, law enforcement personnel and others who perform essential services, such as healthcare workers, are exempt from the order.
Nash said emergency circumstances that exist as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic require extraordinary and immediate corrective actions to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Gwinnett County.
“We are all navigating uncharted waters as we respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and I am grateful to each of the cities for their decisive actions,” said Nash. “The district commissioners and I would like to express our deep appreciation to all of our residents and businesses for making temporary sacrifices for the good of our communities as our hospitals, healthcare workers, and first responders prepare for a rapidly growing caseload.”
Gwinnett Municipal Association President Kelly Kelkenberg said Gwinnett’s 16 cities recognize the value of consistent directives for all residents in Gwinnett County during this critical time.
“The cities have worked to align their emergency decisions with the directives of Gov. Kemp, guidance from the public health department, and Gwinnett County’s local emergency orders,” said Kelkenberg, who also serves as mayor pro-tem for the city of Duluth. “ Our residents need to understand the extreme danger and seriousness of the coronavirus, to which no one has immunity. We are acting in unison to stem its spread, to keep from overwhelming our medical facilities, and to save lives.”