As the situation regarding the coronavirus continues to evolve, the City of Sandy Springs’ first priority is the health, well-being and safety of its citizens, according to a statement issued today by the office of Mayor Rusty Paul. The city is actively monitoring the spread of COVID-19 under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health authorities.
On March 11, the World Health Organization decreed the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. On March 13, the president of the United States declared a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including two emergency declarations: one under the National Emergencies Act and one under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
Pursuant to CDC guidelines and those of other public health authorities, on March 17, the Sandy Springs City Council adopted an ordinance declaring a public health State of Emergency to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the Emergency Declaration Ordinance. On March 20, the City Council amended the Emergency Declaration Ordinance to restrict certain activities within the city. Under this State of Emergency, city facilities and parks are closed. Restaurants are limited to takeout and delivery. Bars, gyms, and other places where groups traditionally gather are closed. The City Council took these actions to ensure the safety of city residents.
Meanwhile, many groups such as churches, synagogues, and similar facilities voluntarily ceased operations for the duration of the crisis. Many businesses implemented work-from-home, telecommuting, and similar strategies to reduce exposure risks to their employees. “These private actions are greatly appreciated,” the mayor stated.
“Our city’s police, fire, and public health personnel also report a high level of compliance with the emergency restrictions passed by the council. Traffic counts are very low, which indicates that the vast majority of people are complying with shelter at home requirements.
“Restaurants, bars, and similar businesses are overwhelmingly complying with the city’s requirements. I would expect nothing less than good, common sense compliance with our emergency measures, and the people of Sandy Springs have shown that confidence is well-founded.
“Nevertheless, even with the Emergency Declaration Ordinance, the amendment, and the privately instigated measures, the public health threat posed by COVID-19 continues to affect all who reside and work within the city. According to the CDC and other public health authorities, this pandemic will continue and worsen for several weeks.”
Committed to taking all possible measures to protect the city, the mayor and City Council desire to continue partnering with its citizens and businesses to conduct activities in a way that reduces the spread of COVID-19. This is a community effort, and everyone must participate in ensuring the city’s safety. Therefore, the mayor and City Council insist that all citizens and businesses in the city do the following:
- Individuals must take all possible and practical steps to shelter at their places of residence, leaving only to receive certain essential services, to obtain necessary provisions, or to engage in certain essential activities and work for essential business and government services;
- Businesses must cease non-essential operations at physical locations within the city and augment their work-from-home and telecommuting strategies whenever possible;
- Businesses providing essential services must enforce CDC social distancing requirements among all patrons and staff within their facilities and frequently sanitize counters, credit/debit machines, carts and other items used by the public or face closure under Gov. Kemp’s Executive Order mandating social distancing;
- Non-essential gatherings of groups of individuals outside a single household unit must cease;
- Individuals must follow the CDC and other public health authority guidelines, as stated in the Emergency Declaration.
Failure to comply with these directives may lead to more restrictive action by the council in the future. Everyone must adhere to the recommended public health actions to slow the spread of this disease.
Currently, these restrictions apply to all citizens, regardless of age. Statistics support that there is a shift in the population impacted by COVID-19 in the United States; young people between the ages of 18 and 59 account for about 60 percent of the cases being reported. It is true that while the vulnerable population accounts for the most fatalities, all members of the population are affected.
“Equally as important as limiting the spread of the disease is our commitment to protect our local economy during this uncertain time. All of our local businesses need our support now more than ever, particularly our locally owned small businesses. Please continue to patronize our local shops and restaurants through carryout or delivery orders or the purchase of gift cards for future use when social distancing is no longer needed.
“The sooner we can bring COVID-19 under control, the sooner we can start to bring normalcy back to our daily lives,” the mayor stated.
“We will continue to share information on our website at www.sandyspringsga.gov.
I want to thank you for your continued support as we come together – and as a community, work together to get through this pandemic.”