On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp announced the extension of Georgia’s public health state of emergency. Originally set to expire on April 30th, the order has now been extended through May 13, 2020. In addition, Governor Kemp announced an extension of an Executive Order that requires all Georgians to remain sheltered in place through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, 2020. The Executive Order mandates that residents and visitors to the State of Georgia are to shelter in place within their places of residence and remain there while taking every possible precaution to limit social interaction to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The extension of Governor Kemp’s Executive Order that requires us to shelter in place speaks to the urgency of this health crisis,” said Alan Carson, City of Thomasville City Manager. “I urge all of Thomasville’s citizens to continue taking the necessary steps to remain sheltered in place so that we can do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the State of Georgia and our local community.
Carson said that the Governor’s Executive Order outlines the specific cases that allow for individuals to leave their homes. “The Executive Order is very clear. Unless you are participating in Essential Services, such as outdoor exercise activities, seeking medical services, and obtaining necessary supplies for family or household members, such as food, supplies and medicine, or traveling to or from work, you should remain at home,” he said. The Executive Order (which outlines the definitions of “Essential Services,” “Necessary Travel,” “Minimum Basic Operations,” and “Critical Infrastructure”) is available in its entirety on Thomasville.org.
With a holiday weekend looming, Carson said that it is important that citizens are also mindful of complying with Governor Kemp’s Executive Order as it relates to large gatherings and social distancing. “I realize that it will be difficult for many to not participate in their traditional gatherings, activities and services this weekend, but it is a necessary sacrifice we must all take,” he said. “Making the sacrifice this weekend could be critical to us getting ahead of this situation and truly flattening the curve in our community.”
City of Thomasville leadership is participating in twice-weekly conference calls that are aimed at monitoring the local response to the global pandemic. “Working with our state and local partners allows us to respond quickly to our local situation and to take the steps that are necessary to keep our community safe,” he said. “We have learned that health and medical experts are projecting that the Southwest Georgia area should expect a peak in the COVID-19 outbreak over the next couple of weeks. This means that now, more than ever, it is important to follow the guidelines outlined by our Governor and the Centers for Disease Control to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in our community as best we can.”
Carson also said that he is beginning twice-weekly addresses to help keep customers informed on the City’s response to COVID-19. “We will be airing new updates twice weekly on CNSNext Channel 6 and also on the City’s Facebook account. Hopefully, this will give our community vital updates to how we are working through an ever-evolving situation.”
In addition, Carson said that while City buildings are closed to the public, staff are very much still working to meet the needs of customers and citizens. “We are available by phone and through our website, ready to assist customers,” he said. “We are also working with our customers regarding outstanding balances for utility accounts. We remain committed to assisting our customers throughout this crisis.”
The City of Thomasville has established a special page on the City’s website, Thomasville.org dedicated to COVID-19 response and preparedness. From here, citizens may also submit questions to be included in future community updates. For more information visit Thomasville.org or call 229-227-7001.