ATLANTA — DeKalb and Gwinnett counties are two of the Georgia counties with the most cases of COVID-19. And now, they’re joining a growing list of counties ordering residents to stay home – a more aggressive approach to slow its spread.
Both counties are now enforcing shelter-in-place orders. DeKalb County's order went into effect as of 9 p.m. Saturday. This is in addition to its "state of emergency" order enforced last Monday banning gatherings of 10 or more people. Now, only essential travel is allowed and is in place until further notice.
In Gwinnett County, commission chair Charlotte Nash described the COVID-19 outbreak “unlike anything I’ve seen before.”
The "shelter-in-place” order went into effect just after midnight Saturday limiting residents to only leave for essential services. However, walking and running outside is permitted as long as residents keep social distancing.
The county is also recommending residents avoid groups of 10 or more. This is in effect until April 13.
“These steps are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to give our hospitals, healthcare workers, and first responders the best chance to handle caseloads that will grow rapidly over the next two weeks,” Nash said.
In a virtual town hall on Thursday, Governor Brian Kemp said he still believes it's best to leave it up to local governments to decide it wants to enforce shelter-in-place orders because 10 counties make up 60-percent of the state's cases.
"In Jeff Davis county, I know of two days ago they didn't even have a single case there and you have people saying, ‘Look, we need to be working, we can't afford to lose our house, we have to feed our kids.’"