EarRelevant Staff | 25 MAR 2020
ATLANTA, GA— On the heels of a statewide “shelter-in-place” order issued Monday afternoon by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for “at-risk” groups only, the City of Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms went a step further that same evening by issuing a citywide “shelter-in-place” order for all Atlanta residents for 14 days in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The order, filed shortly before 9pm, went into effect starting at midnight. The text of the mayor’s executive order can be viewed here.
In a subsequent press release published just over an hour before the order went into effect, the Mayor’s Office of Communications explained the details of the executive order, which it says “requires Atlantans to remain in their homes throughout the day” with the exception that “Individuals may leave their place of residence only for essential activities, essential governmental functions or to operate essential businesses.”
The press release explains in detail the order’s restrictions and exemptions, which remain in force through April 6, in the following excerpt:
SECTION 2. In accordance with this emergency declaration, I am exercising my emergency powers in accordance with Section 2-181(b) of the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances to order that all individuals living in the territorial jurisdictional limits of the City of Atlanta are directed to stay at their place of residence; to permit persons subject to this order to leave their places of residence to provide or receive certain essential services or engage in certain essential activities and work for essential business and government services; to exempt individuals experiencing homelessness from this order but urging them to find shelter and government agencies and non-profit service providers to provide it; directing all businesses to cease non-essential operations at physical locations within the City of Atlanta; prohibiting all non-essential gatherings of any number of individuals.
SECTION 3. Pursuant to this order all individuals currently living within the territorial jurisdictional limits of the City of Atlanta are ordered to stay at their place of residence. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must at all times as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person when they are outside their residence. All persons may leave their residences only for Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses, all as defined herein. Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from this Order, but are strongly urged to obtain shelter, and governmental and other entities are strongly urged to make such shelter available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable (and to use COVID-19 risk mitigation practices in their operation).
SECTION 5.All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes as expressly permitted herein. Nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or living unit.
SECTION 6. Definitions and Exemptions.
ii. To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
iii. To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, or running.
iv. To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order, including Minimum Basic Operations.
v. To care for a family member or pet in another household.
(b) For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any “Healthcare Operations” including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. “Healthcare Operations” also includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined. “Healthcare Operations” does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.
(c) For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of “Essential Infrastructure,” including, but not limited to public works, construction, airport operations, utility, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, railroads, public transportation, taxi/rideshare, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services), provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined herein, to the extent possible.
(d) For purposes of this Order, all first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, and law enforcement personnel, and others working for or to support Essential Businesses are categorically exempt from this Order. Further, nothing in this Order shall prohibit any individual from performing or accessing “Essential Governmental Functions.”
Essential Government Functions means all services needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public. All Essential Governmental Functions shall be performed in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined this Section, to the extent possible.
(e) For the purposes of this Order, covered businesses include any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entities, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure.
(f) For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Businesses” means:
2. Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;
3. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
4. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
5. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
6. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
7. Banks and related financial institutions;
8. Hardware stores; lodging businesses (e.g., hotels, motels, conference centers);
9. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;
10. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
11. Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;
12. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
13. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site. Cafeterias in hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities shall not be subject to the restrictions contained in this order.
14. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
15. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
16. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;
17. Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
18. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
19. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services;
20. Childcare facilities; and
21. Utility, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, railroads, public transportation, taxi/rideshare, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).
(g) For the purposes of this Order, “Minimum Basic Operations” include the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined this Section, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations:
2. The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.
SECTION 7. This order shall be effective on March 24th at midnight and is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the City of Atlanta, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Monday’s executive order is only the latest of a series of actions taken by Mayor Bottoms to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the City of Atlanta. References to those orders as well as additional guidance, recommendations and resources, along with links, can be found in the complete press release and elsewhere on the City of Atlanta’s website. ■