Breaking News: Franklin County BOC, Mayors Issue Emergency Directive

The Franklin County Commission and Mayors recognize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities. We are extremely concerned with the health, safety, and overall well-being of our community. We are cognizant that mitigation efforts must be taken to respond quickly to prevent and slow down the continued spread of COVID-19. Our nation is founded on the notion of individual responsibility, and we are proud of our residents and businesses who have accepted responsibility and proactively taken measures to slow the spread of this disease.

Many health organizations including the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, and the Department of Public Health have communicated and emphasized best practices based on scientific evidence regarding the most effective approaches to slow the transmission of communicable diseases generally and COVID- 19 specifically. One proven way to slow the transmission of COVID-19 is to limit interactions among people to the greatest extent practicable.

On March 23, Governor Kemp declared a public health state of emergency and signed a related Executive Declaration which mandated certain measures be implemented and enforced by the Department of Public Health. These measures underscored the need to limit interaction.

We are urging ALL citizens, businesses, travelers, and guests to follow the best practice guidelines and abide by the state-wide mandates.

Moreover, we are emphasizing the following community initiatives in concert with the Georgia Executive Declaration:

• Those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, people who are sick, and people who are medically fragile should remain in their residence to the extent possible, except to seek medical care.

• All persons should self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible and are strongly encouraged to leave only for Essential Activities, to operate Essential Businesses, or to perform Essential Government Functions.

Social Distancing
• All persons, businesses, and operations should implement “Social Distancing” by:
◦ maintaining a minimum distance of six (6′) feet from other individuals
◦ washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer
◦ covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands)
◦ regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces
◦ do not shake hands.
• All public and private gatherings of more than ten (10) persons occurring outside a residence are prohibited, except for as otherwise expressly permitted herein. Nothing in this Declaration prohibits the gathering of members of a residence.
• Individuals engaged in any Essential Travel are expected to comply with Social Distancing Requirements, to the greatest extent feasible.

Business Activity
• All Essential Businesses are encouraged to remain open, and to the greatest extent feasible shall comply with Social Distancing. Physical contact with the public should be minimized.
• Nonessential Businesses should cease all activities except Minimum Basic Operations. Physical contact with the public should be minimized.
• Nonessential Businesses may continue operations as long as no more than 10 persons (including employees) are allowed inside at any one time and the Social Distancing Requirements are followed. If you are unable to maintain the (6’) feet minimum distance between persons, the operations should cease regardless of the number of persons.
• Businesses may continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences

Exceptions to the above initiatives include individuals performing or accessing Essential Governmental Functions, performing Essential Activities, performing work at an Essential Business, providing service or performing M&O work of Essential Infrastructure, obtaining services at any Healthcare Operations, and carrying out Minimum Basic Operations.

Failure to comply with any of the state mandates or community initiatives constitutes an imminent threat to public health. The Department of Public Health is charged by the Governor to enforce the content of the Executive Declaration including those items not listed in the community initiatives.

Franklin County, its local governments, and more importantly, its citizens have a responsibility to protect the health of the family, friends, and community that we love. Let’s all unite and do our part to “flatten the curve”.

Jointly issued by:

City of Canon

City of Carnesville

Franklin County BOC

City of Franklin SpringsCity of Lavonia

City of Royston