WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a National Emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on March 14, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp declared a Public Health Emergency for the State of Georgia due to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, as of 12:00 PM on March 23, 2020, the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) reported 1097 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 38 deaths attributed to this virus throughout GA; and
WHEREAS, in the judgment of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, based on advice from the Cook County Emergency Management Agency, there currently exist emergency circumstances within Greater Cook County requiring extraordinary and immediate corrective actions for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of all the citizens of Cook County, including individuals with household pets and service animals; and
WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends social distancing measures be implemented by all individuals to prevent the continued spread of illness within the community; and
WHEREAS, local, state and federal health officials all indicate that they expect additional cases of COVID-19 to be identified in the coming days and based on the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 additional person-to-person transmission is likely; and
WHEREAS, should COVID-19 continue to spread into Cook County at a rate close to what other communities in Georgia are experiencing it would quickly overwhelm local resources and capabilities; and
WHEREAS, on March 23, 2020, the Board of Commissioners of Cook County, Georgia declared a Local State of Emergency and activated the Local Emergency Operations Plan. The local Declaration of Emergency shall continue until the conditions requiring said declaration are abated; and
WHEREAS, to prevent or minimize injury to people and damage to property resulting from this event.
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to the authority vested in me by local and state law;
(1) That the following measures shall be implemented effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 5 p.m. and continuing for a period of fourteen (14) days ending at Midnight on Tuesday, April 8, 2020 unless otherwise rescinded or continued:
(i) Voluntary Stay Safe At Home: A voluntary stay safe at home policy is hereby implemented requesting that individuals not loiter, wander or play in any public place within the territorial limits of Cook County, provided however, that the provisions of this policy shall not apply in the following instances:
(ii) Mandatory Stay Safe At Home: Governor Brian Kemp’s Executive Order issued on Monday, March 23, 2020 mandates that the following individuals shall be required to shelter in place:
(iii) Curfew Established: A curfew is imposed from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Residents, unless “exempt individuals” as defined herein, shall remain in their homes or on their property. Exempt individuals include those individuals engaged in the provision of designated, essential services, such as (1) fire; (2) law enforcement; (3) medical and hospital services; (4) military services; (5) utility repairs; (6) persons seeking medical services or hospital services; (7) individuals traveling to and from their jobs with appropriate identification; (8) individuals engaged in the delivery of food, medicine, medical supplies and fuel, including but not limited to the re-stocking of grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores; (9) news media employees; (10) individuals engaged in vehicular travel from another county through the Cook County; and (11) essential governmental services.
(iv) Prohibition on Gatherings: Public or private gatherings of more than ten (10) persons are prohibited for the duration of this Order. For the purposes of this Order, a “gathering” is any indoor or outdoor event or convening, subject to the exceptions and clarifications below, which brings together or is likely to bring together, ten (10) or more persons at the same time in a single room or other single confined or enclosed space, such as an auditorium, stadium (indoor or outdoor), tent, arena, event center, music venue, meeting hall, conference center, large cafeteria, church, or any other confined indoor or confined outdoor space, to include birthday parties, family reunions, baby showers, weddings, and funerals. For the purposes of this order, a “gathering” shall not include the following, provided that these establishments implement social distancing measures to comply with CDC recommendations:
(i) Office space, public or private schools, child care facilities, residential buildings or any type of temporary shelter or housing;
(ii) Hospitals and health care facilities; and
(iii) Grocery stores, shopping centers, malls or other retail establishments
(v) Recreational and Entertainment Facilities: All indoor facilities operated for the purpose of recreation or entertainment shall be closed for the duration of the Emergency Administrative Order. Examples of these types of facilities include, but is not limited to, dance studios, gymnastics studios, bowling alleys, pool halls, skating rinks, trampoline parks, playgrounds, movie theaters, etc.
(vi) All permits for special events, including park facility rentals, to be held in Cook County for the duration of this Order are hereby cancelled, and no new special event permits shall be authorized for the duration of this Order. Persons affected by this cancellation shall be entitled to a refund of any permit or rental fees paid.
(vii) Gyms and Fitness Centers: All gyms and fitness centers shall be closed during the period of this Order.
(viii)All establishments providing body care services which require physical contact between the provider and client, including, without limitation, barbering, hair design, cosmetology, esthetics, massage therapy, tattooing, body waxing, tanning salons, or nail care shall be closed for business. This paragraph shall not restrict any services performed by or under the direct supervision of a licensed medical doctor, nurse, dentist, physical therapist, chiropractor, or other healthcare professional.
(ix) Bars and Nightclubs: Pursuant to the Executive Order issued by Governor Brian Kemp on March 23, 2020, all bars and nightclubs shall be closed during the period of this Order.
(x) Restaurants: All restaurants shall immediately suspend all on-premises food and drink consumption for customers. Restaurants may continue to operate their kitchens for the purposes of providing take out or delivery services provided they adhere to the following additional guidelines:
For purposes of this section, “restaurant” shall include any establishment which operates for the purpose of preparation and serving of meals, lunches, short orders, sandwiches, frozen desserts or other edible products for consumption on premises and which derives at least 50 percent of gross sale from food products.
(xi) All other retail, commercial, agricultural, forestry, horticultural, Food Cultivation including hunting and fishing or industrial establishments will be permitted to remain open subject to the following restrictions: (i) reasonable steps are taken to ensure that customers, employees, and other persons on the premises shall generally not be within six (6) feet of each other for longer than brief periods; and (ii) employees are not suffered or permitted to work if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or residing with anybody exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
SO ORDERED this 25th day of March 2020.
/s/ Jeff Lane, Chairman
Cook County Board of Commissioners