DAHLONEGA, Ga., –– On May 12, Governor Kemp issued a new 30-page executive order further detailing Georgia’s steps for reopening and returning the state to normal business activities. Among many additional guidelines for essential and non-essential businesses, the order also extends the state of emergency through mid-June, requires those 65 and older as well as medically fragile populations to continue sheltering in place through June 12, and Georgia bars, live performance venues and nightclubs remain closed through 11:59 p.m. on May 31, unless otherwise extended. The full order is available on the state website here.
The detailed order provides specific guidelines for summer camps to resume operations with overnight camps prohibited for now. Also prohibited are large gatherings of 10 or more people unless there is at least six feet between each person with exceptions for critical infrastructure, cohabitating persons or family units, transitory or incidental grouping, and dining rooms and restaurants with no more than 10 patrons per 300-square-feet.
In follow-up to Governor Kemp’s announcement, the Dahlonega City Council held a special called meeting on May 13 to discuss reopening city facilities and resuming non-essential business functions.
• City Hall will officially reopen to the public on Monday, May 18, with the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. dedicated to serving visitors 60 years of age and older and the balance of the day through 5:00 p.m. available to anyone. Residents are encouraged to continue using online payment options and the drop-boxes located at City Hall and old BB&T lot on West Main as a preferred social distancing option. Visitors to City Hall will have access to hand sanitizer and courtesy disposable face masks as well as individual water bottles as opposed to public fountains. While inside City Hall, social distancing requirements—a minimum of six feet—will be observed.
• City Park, located behind City Hall, remains closed to the public as it is undergoing previously scheduled renovations. City staff anticipate reopening the park to the public in several weeks.
• The Wimpy Mill picnic area remains open and will undergo additional daily cleaning as part of COVID-19 response efforts.
• Hancock Park, diving bell and pavilion are open for passive use by individuals, but not organized social gatherings of ten or more. The public restrooms, and the Gold Adventures playground equipment, remain closed to the public at this time. City staff are working through the logistics and obtaining the supplies necessary to clean and safely maintain these high-contact public facilities. The anticipated park reopening date is Saturday, May 23, but may be limited to weekend use only.
The city will increase its regular cleaning schedules for all city facilities and all Dahlonega staff will be wearing cloth face masks while on-duty in and outside city facilities, unless working on-site at an active construction or repair site. Resumption of regular trash pick-up will be announced at a later date.
“We want to encourage residents who aren’t feeling well or who are running a temperature to remain at home,” said City Manager Bill Schmid. “Our staff are ready to assist you by phone at 706-864-6133 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org in the event you are not well and need to conduct city business.”
“I am encouraged by the data for Lumpkin County and remain hopeful things are moving in the right direction,” said Mayor Sam Norton. “Let’s all be safe, practice good common sense, and get through this together!”
CDC’s “What to do if you are sick?” – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
Northeast Georgia Health System COVID-19 information – https://www.nghs.com/covid-19
FEMA’s Coronavirus Rumor Control – https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-rumor-control
Georgia Department of Public Health – https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus
District 2 Public Health Department – http://phdistrict2.org/