Columbia County COVID-19 Updates
Wednesday, April 1, 2020: Governor Kemp held a press conference at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 where in addition to the actions already taken, he issued a statewide shelter in place order beginning Friday, April 3, 2020 until Monday, April 13, 2020.
The Board of Commissioners along with County Administration will monitor what the Governor releases tomorrow, April 2, 2020 in regards to the details of his shelter in place order. In addition, the county is committed to enforcing the Governor’s rules as allowed by law.
Chairman Duncan states, “I am very supportive of Governor Kemp’s decision to shelter in place. I appreciate him taking the additional action, afforded to him by law, to protect the citizens of Columbia County and the state of Georgia. We whole-heartedly agree with his stance and will do everything within our power to keep the citizens of Columbia County safe under these new rules.”
The Commission along with County Administration will provide an update on the county’s Facebook page on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 10 AM.
Friday, March 27, 2020 Press Release: Columbia County Board of Commissioners has decided to extend the closures of all county offices, parks and facilities to the public through Monday, April 6, 2020.
During this time period, all public safety personnel, including Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Rescue, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will continue to operate under normal guidelines. Public Transit will continue to deliver meals to those who are already enrolled in this service as well as provide essential and medical trips. Online services are encouraged, and no late fees for county services will be incurred and services will not be disconnected.
The Board of Commissioners asks that you please continue to follow the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and any Executive Order(s) implemented by President Trump and Governor Kemp. The guidelines include no business or organization shall allow more than ten (10) persons to be gathered at a single location if such gathering requires persons to stand or to be seated within six (6) feet of another person; staying at home if you feel sick; calling your primary care provider before traveling to a walk-in clinic or emergency room; washing your hands; disinfecting hard surfaces; and avoiding physical contact.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 Press Release: Following President Trump’s guidance to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) , Chairman Duncan along with Vice Chair Richardson and Commissioners have made the decision to implement preemptive measures and close all county offices, parks and facilities beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through Sunday, March 29, 2020.
The decision to close county offices, parks and facilities follows the guidelines of the county’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOPs) that has been prepared by the county’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA).
In addition to the previously announced closures, this was not an easy decision and has not been taken lightly. The Commissioners want to ensure the employees and citizens that their health and safety are at the fore-front of their minds.
During this time period, all public safety personnel, including Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Rescue, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), along with the delivery of meals to those who are already enrolled in this service will continue to operate under normal guidelines. Online services are encouraged, and no late fees for county services will be incurred and services will not be disconnected. In addition, the Emergency Operations Center will be staffed with mission critical personnel and will take calls through the county’s 311 center during normal business hours. The EOC is included with other county facilities and will be closed to the general public.
The Board of Commissioners asks that you please follow the guidance of President Trump, Governor Kemp and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes refraining from large public gatherings, staying at home if you feel sick, calling your primary care provider before traveling to a walk-in clinic or emergency room, wash your hands, disinfect hard surfaces, and avoid physical contact.
Sunday, March 15, 2020 Press Release: Columbia County Board of Commissioners continues to monitor the health updates regarding COVID-19 and state updates from Governor Brian Kemp. Following Governor Kemp’s Declaration of Public Health State of Emergency on Saturday, March 14, 2020, Chairman Duncan, Vice-Chair Richardson, along with the Commission reviewed the county’s Continuity of Operations and Social Distancing Policy and would like to notify the citizens of Columbia County of the following county closures, cancellations, and postponements.
Per the county’s social distancing policy, the county will close the following venues and facilities to be effective beginning at 12 AM Monday, March 16, 2020. These closings will be reevaluated on a weekly basis. Each county venue and facility will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized during this time to ensure that the county upholds the highest standards of cleanliness.
- Columbia County Public Transit will limit its services to essential and medical trips only. At the end of each day, each county vehicle will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Public Transit will continue to provide meals to those who already receive this service.
- All Columbia County Libraries to include Evans, Harlem, and Euchee Creek/Grovetown and Columbia County Senior Center will be closed to the public.
- Columbia County Parks will remain open aside from facilities. Restrooms and water features at the park will be closed for cleaning and sanitizing and will remain closed until reevaluation.
- Columbia County youth activities are being cancelled for the week of March 16, 2020.
- Columbia County rental facilities will be closed. For any questions regarding an event or meeting scheduled at one of the county’s rental venues, please contact Venues and Rentals at 706-868-3349.
- All public use of the Evans Auditorium and county conference rooms is postponed and will be rescheduled.
- Patriots Park Expansion Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is being postponed. Once the date has been secured, the county will notify the media and citizens of the new date and time.
- The Big Bounce American event at Evans Towne Center Park has been postponed until October 9-11, 2020.
- To the extent feasible, Courts will remain open to address essential functions giving priority to matters necessary to protect health, safety and liberty of individuals. Court proceedings will be done in a manner to limit the risk of exposure. The Clerk of Court’s public record room will be closed to the general public.
Columbia County’s main campus and support departments will remain open and continue to serve the citizens of the county. However, Columbia County encourages the citizens to utilize online services for payments of county-related services. Columbia County Water Utility will not cut off anyone’s water service during this time period if they are unable to make a payment.
The Board of Commissioners encourages citizens to monitor Georgia Department of Health’s website for the latest updates and recommendations in regards to COVID-19.
GDPH recommends the best prevention measures for any respiratory virus include the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.