Hart County BOC Declares State of Emergency

County Attorney Walter Gordon reads the emergency declaration at a called meeting Tuesday

Hart County has declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a called meeting Tuesday the Board of Commissioners announced the State of Emergency which asks all county residents to shelter in place, effective at noon Wednesday.

County officials noted the emergency declaration is not a lockdown and there is no practical way for the County to enforce it.

As of Wednesday Hart County had no confirmed cases of COVID-19, but it was noted that neighboring Madison County had one confirmed case as of Tuesday night.

Hart County Attorney Walter Gordon drafted the declaration and read it during the meeting Tuesday.

“The intent of this declaration is to ensure that Hart County residents 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 the coronavirus for the maximum extent possible,” Gordon read.

Additionally, the declaration asks people only to leave their homes for necessary errands or to seek medical attention.

“When people need to leave their places of residences whether to obtain or perform vital services or otherwise facilitate authorized activities necessary for the continuity of social or commercial life they should at all times, reasonably possible, comply with the social distancing requirements,” Gordon continued.

Gordon went on to say failure to comply with the emergency declaration could create a public health hazard and noted the County law enforcement and the Department of Public Health have been given the authority to cite businesses and individuals they deem to not be adhering to the emergency declaration.

Exempt from the emergency declaration are retailers who provide essential materials for the general public and all medical facilities.

However, the declaration requires all non-essential businesses to cease all activities except for minimum basic functions.

The declaration went on to say the County is following the State mandate to limit gatherings.

“Some individuals who contract the COVID-19 virus have no symptoms or have mild symptoms, which means that they may not be aware that they carry the virus,” Gordon noted. Because even people without symptoms can transmit the disease and because evidence shows that the disease is easily spread, gatherings can result in the preventable transmission of the virus. One proven way to slow the spread of the virus is to limit gatherings and interactions to the greatest extent practical,” he said.

A copy of the declaration is on the Hart County Web page. http://www.hartcountyga.gov/documents/bocminutes/Emergency%20Declaratio.pdf