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This is a critical intervention to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in Athens-Clarke County. The ordinance is designed to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, in order to slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to the maximum extent possible. While this news may feel alarming, it is a necessary step to prevent a worsening situation and not overwhelm our healthcare system. The patterns of the virus around the world, and in our own state, tell us that moving right now to maximize social distancing and restrict people gathering is the best way to fight the virus and help ensure that our healthcare networks are not overwhelmed.
The term “shelter in place” means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary for one of the designated exceptions in the ordinance. In other words, everyone should stay home to slow the spread of the virus. You should limit your movements to essential outings.
Some reasons you would leave your home are to get food, to get a prescription, to see a doctor, to go to work if your work is considered “essential,” to take your child(ren) to and from childcare, and to help people you care for get the things they need to live and be healthy and safe.
Mandatory. It is critical for everyone to follow the order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect themselves, their loved ones, friends, neighbors and the whole community. All persons, businesses, and other entities are required to comply if they do not fall within the exemptions that are specified in the ordinance.
For purposes of the order, “Social Distancing Requirements” includes:
From March 20, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. until April 7, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. unless extended by the Mayor and Commission.
No. The Police Department will support compliance with the ordinance by providing information and education to individuals violating the shelter in place requirements regarding the imminent threat to public health posed by COVID-19.
If an individual believes traveling out of ACC to one’s job is essential to their health and safety or to the health and safety of their family or household members or partners or significant others.
Students are permitted to travel to and from their dorms for the purpose of retrieving items, as per Section 10(h)(iv) of the approved ordinance (Essential Travel): "Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction."
Residents located in the City of Winterville city limits and the City of Bogart city limits are not subject to the ACCGov Local Emergency Declaration, as the Declaration only applies to the territorial limits of the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. Note that a mailing address of Winterville or Bogart may not necessarily match the actual city limits.
The full ordinance is available online.
This FAQ area will be continually updated. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions that aren’t answered here.