On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp announced an Executive Order that would require all Georgians to shelter in place, beginning at 6:00 p.m. today, April 3rd. This order will be in effect through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2020. The Executive Order mandates that residents and visitors of the State of Georgia shelter in place within their places of residence and remain there while taking every possible precaution to limit social interaction to prevent the spread or infection of COVID-19.
“Governor Kemp’s Executive Order clearly outlines any exceptions to the shelter in place order. I would urge all of Thomasville’s citizens to be familiar with the Order and to take the steps necessary to shelter in place so that we can do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the State of Georgia,” said City Manager Alan Carson. “We have provided a link on our website, Thomasville.org, to both the Governor’s Executive Order as well as to additional documentation that was released by Governor Kemp’s office that provides further guidance to businesses and individuals.”
Carson said that the City of Thomasville is actively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and taking the necessary action to maintain the health and safety for the community, citizens, customers, and staff members. Maintaining compliance with Governor Kemp’s order while providing the essential services to citizens and customers is a top priority.
“We understand that utility services such as electricity, natural gas, solid waste, water, wastewater and telecommunications are essential to our customers,” said Carson. “It is also important that are public safety departments continue to respond to emergency situations. I want to assure our community that our staff remains committed to providing these services throughout this unprecedented situation.”
With this in mind, the City of Thomasville has released the following update for City services, effective Monday, April 6, 2020:
The City’s Role
- The City of Thomasville will maintain essential services and support local public health and public safety partners. This includes enforcing both Administrative and Executive Orders that are put into place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- While the situation is unprecedented, the City of Thomasville has emergency management and operations plans in place to help guide our organization and our community through situations like this. We will follow these plans, work with agency partners, and continue identifying and meeting the needs of our customers and our citizens.
- While not a state agency charged with enforcing the Executive Order, the City of Thomasville will take all action necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 while also communicating important information to our community.
Safety and Security
- City staff are collaborating and coordinating with community partners and local and state emergency management agencies to identify and address community needs.
- We are protecting the health and safety of first responders and other front-line personnel by providing the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and modifying existing operations to be in line with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- We have suspended many internal staff meetings, postponed public events and cancelled public meetings. Travel is also suspended for all City of Thomasville staff.
- All City of Thomasville buildings and facilities are closed to the general public. This includes the Administrative Building, the Thomasville Municipal Building, Country Oaks Golf Course and the Thomasville Regional Airport. A full list of closures is available on Thomasville.org.
- All playground equipment located in publicly owned parks and locations is closed and is not available for public use under any circumstances.
- Public parks, athletic fields and courts are open for outdoor exercising, as outlined in the Executive Order. Those utilizing a public outdoor facility for exercise must maintain a minimum of six feet during activities between themselves and any other individuals who do not cohabitate in the same household or residence.
- Burial or graveside services must be limited to ten individuals present, with each person maintaining a six-foot distance from others.
- A moratorium for utility disconnections for non-payment is in effect through April 24, 2020. During this period, utility services for customers will not be subject to disconnection for non-payment and unpaid balances will not incur late fees or penalties. If customers are able to pay their bills, they are encouraged to do so to minimize their repayment balance when this crisis is over.
- The City of Thomasville has temporarily suspended backdoor garbage pickup and has moved to curbside collections only. This decision was made for the health and safety of City staff and solid waste customers.
- As a further precaution and in the interest of health and safety for our community, recycling operations are temporarily suspended, beginning Monday, April 6, 2020. The recycling center on Remington Avenue will close on Monday, and all recycling containers will be removed from Thomas County solid waste drop-off locations. In addition, charges for commercial recycling accounts will be suspended until further notice. We appreciate the community’s support with this very difficult decision.
What You Can Do to Help
- All of these efforts are being taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community and to help minimize the impacts of the coronavirus in Thomasville. Slowing the spread will help to preserve our healthcare capacity, which will be critical as local cases continue to increase. However, slowing the spread in Thomasville is the responsibility of EVERY citizen. We ask our community to assist in these efforts by doing the following:
- Adhering to Governor Kemp’s mandatory shelter in place order which requires all residents and visitors of the State of Georgia to shelter in place within their homes or places of residence. This means that residents must remain in their residences and take every precaution to limit social interaction to prevent the spread of infection of COVID-19, unless they are conducting or participating in any of the allowable activities defined in Governor Kemp’s Order.
- Follow all guidelines issued by the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health regarding healthy behaviors, hygiene and social distancing.
- Be a good neighbor and check on the elderly and disabled. Our most vulnerable populations need assistance now more than ever.
- Stay informed through trusted and official resources. Help slow the spread of not only the coronavirus, but misinformation as well.
- Buy what you need only. Our grocery stores and food service providers have limited capacity, and we must ensure that all citizens have what they need during these trying times. Limit the pressure on our resources by only buying what you and your family need for a two-week period. Remember, grocers will remain open as an essential service and you are able to visit these businesses during the shelter in place mandate.
The City of Thomasville has established a special page on Thomasville.org dedicated to the City’s COVID-19 response. Additional information will be shared on the City’s social media sites and CNSNext Channel 6. For more information visit Thomasville.org or call 229-227-7001.