March 30, 2020 8:00 AM
Executive Order Implementing Emergency Measures Responsive to COVID-19: What You Need to Know
This order is in place effective March 25, 2020 beginning at 8 a.m. and will continue in effect until April 19, 2020, unless modified or extended by a subsequent declaration.
Why is this happening now?
The Executive Declaration is being issued now because it is urgent that we slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.
The virus spreads easily, and this order is intended to prevent the spread of this disease from overwhelming our healthcare system. The goal here is to “flatten the curve” to slow down the spread of the virus and ensure we have adequate health care resources for those who get sick with COVID-19 and those who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other routine medical conditions.
Can I go to a bar/nightclub/theater?
No. Entertainment venues like these are not permitted to be open during this order.
Can I go to a restaurant, cafe, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other foodservice location?
Yes, but only to pick up food or drinks. You cannot dine-in or eat or drink at the facility. Patrons will not be permitted to dine or congregate in restaurants, bars, and similar establishments.
Is my favorite restaurant, cafe, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other food service location open?
Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food to the public are encouraged to stay open, but only to provide delivery and carry out. Patrons will not be permitted to dine or congregate in restaurants, bars, and similar establishments.
I don’t cook—how can I purchase meals?
Restaurants, cafes, and similar establishments may remain open to supply meals to the public via delivery and carryout. You can also purchase prepared foods at grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, and other such food retailers.
How can I access free or reduced price meals for myself or my family?
Schools, soup kitchens, food banks, and other entities that provide free or reduced priced food goods or meals to students or other members of the public are encouraged to continue providing these services. However, food provided by these establishments to the public may not be eaten on the premises but must instead be delivered or taken away for consumption.
Can I go to the gym or health club?
No. Gyms are ordered closed.
Can I walk my dog/pet?
Yes. Be sure that you distance yourself at least six feet from other pets and owners.
Can I go to a vet or pet hospital if my pet is sick?
Yes. Please call first to determine if there are any restrictions in place.
Can the declaration be changed?
Yes. It was important to get the Executive Declaration in place quickly given the spread of the virus in Georgia. However, it can and will likely be updated as conditions warrant. Follow updates at wrga.gov. We will also share new updates with the media.
Should I stock up on food, necessities like toilet paper, and on medicines?
No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items whenever you need them, as stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open and are frequently restocking. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally do. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone.
What should I do if I’m sick or a family member is sick?
If you are feeling sick, please first call your primary care doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center before going to the hospital. Check online resources like the CDC website if you are worried that you or a loved one has the COVID-19 virus. Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you have deemed that you have an actual emergency. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
What should I do if I’m sick or a family member is sick and needs to go to the hospital or a medical provider? How can I protect others?
If possible, walk or drive yourself to the hospital or medical provider. If someone else in your home is sick and can drop you off, that is another good option.
If you have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like a surgical mask or N-95 mask, you can wear that to prevent exposing others. If you don’t have that, you could use a temporary method such as wrapping a clean scarf around your mouth and nose to try to reduce droplets when you cough and sneeze. Although this is not an approved method, it is something you can do to try and limit exposure to others.
Can I leave home to exercise?
If you will be both outdoors and not in close contact with people, yes. Otherwise, no, because fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities will be closed.
What are the social distancing guidelines I still need to follow?
The best way to reduce their risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds or the flu, still applies to prevent COVID-19:
◦Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
◦Cover your cough or sneeze.
◦Stay home if you are sick.
◦Avoid touching your face.
◦Avoid groups (stay at least six feet away from others).
◦Reduce the time you are around others outside the home, even when at least six feet away.
When practicing social distancing, how far should I stay away from others if I must be away from my home?
At least six (6) feet, which is appropriately two to three steps away, including if you are on the bus. This is why it’s important to only take public transportation for essential activities--you want to help everyone be able to practice social distancing.
What if I’m in a line and there isn’t six feet between me and others?
You should still try to maintain a least six feet between you and others. When that isn’t possible for short periods, do your best to keep the duration short. Be sure when you are in line that you don’t sneeze or cough onto people. If needed, cough or sneeze into your shirt or into an elbow with clothing on.
Where can I pay my utility bill or set up a new account.
You can pay your bill online. If you are in need of setting up a new account please visit our website for a step by step guide on how to do this during this emergency situation.
For more information or if your question was not answered please email Mandy Stella at firstname.lastname@example.org