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Fulton County shelter in place order | What qualifies as an essential business

The order allow residents 'to leave to provide, receive, or engage in essential services or activities.'

ATLANTA — Fulton County has issued a shelter in place order asking requiring residents to stay home to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Violations of the order can carry a stiff penalty - potentially either a $1,000 fine or up to a year in jail.

RELATED: Fulton County issues shelter in place order; violators could get $1,000 fine or up to year in jail

But it does specifically allow residents "to leave to provide, receive, or engage in essential services or activities" and allows "those who work for essential businesses and perform essential governmental functions to leave their place of residence."

The order lays those essential businesses out like this:

  • Healthcare: Defined as "operations and the essential infrastructure for such operations." Includes home-based care for seniors, adults and children as well as residential facilities for seniors, adults and children.
  • Food: Including "grocery stores, farmers' markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores and other establishments engaged in the retail sale" of various food items. Also includes food cultivation such as farming, livestock and fishing, andfood or grocery delivery services.
  • Charitable groups: Defined as businesses that "provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals."
  • Media: Defined as "newspapers, television, radio and other media services."
  • Cars: Gas stations, auto supply and auto repair shops.
  • Banks
  • Hardware stores
  • Bike shops
  • Vital services: Defined as "utility, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, railroads, public transportation, taxi/rideshare, solid waste collection and removal, internet, telecommunications."
  • Repairs: Defined as "plumbers, electricians, exterminators and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation" of homes and essential businesses.
  • Mailing and shipping businesses
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Office supply businesses
  • Businesses that serve other essential businesses with necessary supplies
  • Legal or accounting services
  • Veterinary care facilities or animal shelters
  • Janitorial services
  • Childcare facilities
  • Cafeterias at certain facilities: At hospitals, nursing homes or similar facilities
  • Restaurants under certain conditions: For drive-thru, delivery and carry out services only
  • Funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries under certain conditions: "Provided that funeral services shall be ordered to ensure safe social distancing of six feet between attendees."
  • Educational institutions in certain circumstances: For "purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions."
  • "Lodging businesses" in certain circumstances: Such as hotels, motels, and conference centers but "only as necessary for providing shelter and not for non-essential gatherings otherwise prohibited."
  • "Any other service deemed by the District Health Director to be essential for the protection of public health, safety and welfare."

See the order

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We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.


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