Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown submitted a letter Tuesday that said Hinesville will continue to abide by Governor Kemp’s orders.
“The Actions taken by the City prior to the state stepping in were made in an attempt to mitigate the situation created by COVID-19 and prevent loss of life in Hinesville,” Brown said. “We have enforced his orders to the best of our ability and within the parameters set for us at the state level. With this new order, the Governor’s team has seen fit to rescind some of the stricter economic measures put in place to prevent the spread of disease across the state. However, we remind citizens this does not mean that the ALL CLEAR has been given.”
Brown reminded residents that the Shelter-In-Place order is in effect until April 30 at 11:59 p.m.
He also noted that not every business is cleared to reopen under the Governor’s new order.
“There are still restrictions and measures that must be met by each reopened business in order for them to operate and, until we receive the ALL CLEAR from the state, we will continue to enforce and check for adherence to those measures,” Brown said. “Additionally, gatherings are still not permitted until the order lifts. We know it is tempting, but our social lives will still be there when this is over. So please stay home unless you absolutely need to.”
Under Kemp’s order several businesses previously closed will be allowed to start opening as early as this Friday. However, bars and nightclubs are to still remain closed until further notice.
According to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, businesses seeking to open must following guidelines listed on their website:
Minimum basic operations include the following:
1. Screening and evaluating workers who exhibit signs of illness, such as a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, or shortness of breath.
2. Requiring workers who exhibit signs of illness to not report to work or to seek medical attention.
3. Enhancing sanitation of the workplace as appropriate.
4. Requiring hand washing or sanitation by workers at appropriate places within the business location.
5. Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) as available and appropriate to the function and location of the worker within the business location.
6. Prohibiting gatherings of workers during working hours.
7. Permitting workers to take breaks and meals outside, in their office or personal workspace, or in such other areas where proper social distancing is attainable.
8. Implementing teleworking for all possible workers.
9. Implementing staggered shifts for all possible workers.
10. Holding all meetings and conferences virtually, wherever possible.
11. Delivering intangible services remotely wherever possible.
12. Discouraging workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment.
13. Prohibiting handshaking and another unnecessary person-to-person contact in the workplace.
14. Placing notices that encourage hand hygiene at the entrance to the workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
15. Suspending the use of Personal Identification Number (“PIN”) pads, PIN entry devices, electronic signature capture, and any other credit card receipt signature requirements to the extent such suspension is permitted by agreements with credit card companies and credit agencies.
16. Enforcing social distancing of non-cohabitating persons while present on such entity’s leased or owned property.
17. For retailers and service providers, providing for alternative points of sale outside of buildings, including curbside pick-up or delivery of products and/ or services if an alternative point of sale is permitted under Georgia law.
18. Increasing physical space between workers and customers.
19. Providing disinfectant and sanitation products for workers to clean their workspace, equipment, and tools.
20. Increasing physical space between workers’ worksites to at least six (6) feet.
Many took to Facebook to offer their opinions. The majority of comments say that Kemp is opening to state too soon.
Brown said whether you agree with Kemp or not, everyone must still do their part to fight the pandemic.
“Tough decisions were not made lightly in those early weeks and just because the decisions are being made at a higher level and coming down the pipeline does not make them any easier to swallow or enforce,” Brown said. “What we do not want is our citizenry to forget the measures and fall back into their habits, just for this situation to arise again down the road.”
Brown urged residents to still use caution, stay home and follow CDC guidelines.
Liberty County Administrator Joey Brown said that he expects commissioners to discuss the matter after their weekly call with the Department of Public Health.
For more information on COVID-19 and managing your business, please visit www.gachamber.com/covid19 for a host of resources, documents and other relevant resources to best assist with future business plans.