The city of Gainesville continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat and its potential impact on the community.
The state of Georgia's response to COVID-19
To protect the health, safety and welfare of Georgia residents and visitors, Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law Thursday, April 2, a statewide shelter-in-place order. The order took effect at 6 p.m. Friday, April 3, and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 13. The executive order can be read in full here.
Under the order, all Georgia residents and visitors are required to shelter in place within their homes or places of residence, meaning remaining in their place of residence and taking every possible precaution to limit social interaction to prevent the spread or infection of COVID-19 to themselves or any other person, unless they are:
1.) Conducting or participating in essential services (see details below);
2.) Performing necessary travel (see details below);
3.) Are engaged in the performance of, or travel to and from, the performance of minimum basic operations for a business, establishment, corporation, nonprofit corporation or organization not classified as critical infrastructure (see details below); or
4.) Are part of the workforce for critical infrastructure and are actively engaged in the performance of, or travel to and from, their respective employment (see details below).
a.) Obtaining necessary supplies and services for family or household members, such as food and supplies for household consumption and use, medical supplies or medication, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation and essential maintenance of the home or residence. Preference should be given to online ordering, home delivery and curbside pick-up services wherever possible as opposed to in-store shopping;
b.) Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of family or household members, such as seeking medical, behavioral health or emergency services;
c.) Engaging in outdoor exercise activities so long as a minimum distance of 6 feet is maintained during such activities between all persons who are not occupants of the same household or residence.
a.) Necessary travel permitted under this order is limited to such travel as is required to conduct or participate in essential services, minimum basic operations or critical infrastructure as defined by this order.
a.) The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of a business, establishment, corporation, nonprofit corporation or organization, provide services, manage inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions. Such minimum necessary activities include remaining open to the public subject to the restrictions of this order;
b.) The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees or volunteers being able to work remotely from their residences or members or patrons being able to participate remotely from their residences;
c.) Instances where employees are working outdoors without regular contact with other persons, such as delivery services, contractors, landscape businesses and agricultural industry services.
The term "critical infrastructure" shall refer to businesses, establishments, corporations, nonprofit corporations and organizations as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as "essential critical infrastructure workforce," in guidance dated March 19, 2020, and revised on March 28, 2020, and those suppliers which provide essential goods and services to the critical infrastructure workforce, as well as entities that provide legal services, home hospice, and nonprofit corporations or nonprofit organizations that offer food distribution or other health or mental health services. The operation of critical infrastructure shall not be impeded by county, municipal or local ordinance.
For critical infrastructure entities, if your business or organization will continue in-person operations, the state encourages implementation of 16 requirements. The definition of critical infrastructure and the 16 recommendations are listed here.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development is authorized to issue guidance to any business, corporation, organization or industry trade group regarding its status as critical infrastructure. This guidance shall not require a finding of fact, but shall be in writing and shall be considered a final agency action for the purpose of proceedings under Code Section 50-13-19. Fill out a state COVID-19 Business Guidance Request Form here.
Important COVID-19 resources and information
• Gov. Brian P. Kemp - Office of the Governor
For executive orders
• Georgia Department of Public Health
• Georgia Department of Economic Development
• Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security
The Georgia Department of Economic Development has prepared guidelines for “Should My Business Remain Open?” Those guidelines can be found here. You may also send an email inquiry to email@example.com.
Visit gov.georgia.gov, click on “Contact Us," then click on “Constituent Services,” which will take you to a form to fill out. Please include the following information in their report:
1.) Business name
4.) Telephone number
5.) Specific details of the complaint
The city of Gainesville's response to COVID-19
Under Gov. Brian Kemp's statewide shelter in place order – and to help stop the spread of COVID-19, cases of which are growing by the day – all city of Gainesville administrative offices, fire stations, the public safety complex, parks and recreation facilities, and the Gainesville-Hall County Senior Life Center are closed to the public indefinitely.
All essential city services, including police, fire, water, sanitary sewer and trash pickup will continue as usual.
The city will continue to communicate all cancellations, closures and possible service interruptions at gainesville.org and on the “Gainesville Georgia Government” Facebook page.
Special meetings and city resolutions to address the novel COVID-19 pandemic:
Gainesville City Council - Special Called Meeting - COVID-19 Update - April 3, 2020
The Gainesville City Council convened Friday, April 3, in a special called meeting in response to Gov. Brian Kemp issuing a statewide shelter-in-place order for residents and visitors of Georgia.
Action included adoption of a resolution rescinding past resolutions related to COVID-19.
The resolution can be read in full here.
Gainesville City Council - Special Called Meeting - COVID-19 Update - April 1, 2020
The Gainesville City Council convened Wednesday, April 1, in a special called meeting to pursue further provisions related to the declaration of emergency due to COVID-19.
Action included adoption of a resolution declaring a shelter-in-place order, effective at midnight Thursday, April 2. The resolution allows for essential activities, essential travel and for essential businesses to operate.
Gainesville City Council - Special Called Meeting - COVID-19 Update - March 27, 2020
The Gainesville City Council convened Friday, March 27, in a special called meeting to pursue further provisions related to the declaration of emergency due to COVID-19.
Action included adoption of a joint resolution of the Gainesville City Council, Northeast Georgia Health System Board of Trustees, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Board of Trustees, medical staffs of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Hospital Authority of Hall County & City of Gainesville and Hall County Commission. The joint resolution collectively asks “all people across our region to stay home for at least 14 days – leaving only for tasks required by their job and necessary needs such as food, medications and medical emergencies – to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Gainesville City Council - Special Called Meeting - COVID-19 Update - March 23, 2020
The Gainesville City Council convened Monday, March 23, in a special called meeting to further address the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
Action included adoption of a resolution declaring emergency due to COVID-19 and for provisions necessary to protect lives.
Gainesville City Council - Special Called Meeting - COVID-19 Update - March 20, 2020
The Gainesville City Council convened Friday, March 20, in a special called meeting to address the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
Action included adoption of a resolution encouraging adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines related to COVID-19.
President Donald J. Trump approves Georgia disaster declaration
President Donald J. Trump declared March 29 that a major disaster exists in the state of Georgia and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning Jan. 20 and continuing.
Read the full press release here.
NGHS, local governments urge people to stay home to save lives
As the number of positive cases of COVID-19 and associated deaths in Georgia continue to climb, Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) physicians and board members – along with Hall County and city of Gainesville elected officials – are collectively urging you stay home for at least 14 days to slow the spread of the virus.
A joint resolution issued by NGHS’ medical staff and board members, in collaboration with the Hall County Commission and Gainesville City Council, recognizes some necessary exceptions for leaving your home. They ask you leave only for tasks required by your job and necessary needs such as food, medications and medical emergencies.
Read the full press release here.
Alternative ways to do business with the city
1.) Utilize the city’s website at https://gainesvillega.governmentwindow.com/start.html to determine if transaction needs can be met online. Convenience fees for online payments have been waived until further notice;
2.) Place a call to the appropriate department to determine if city staff can provide the needed service(s) without a visit to city facilities. A list of department contacts can be viewed at https://www.gainesville.org/contact/;
3.) If the service desired is not urgent, email the appropriate department so city staff can assess your needs and respond back to you with the appropriate resolution prior to a visit to city facilities. Email contact information can also be found at https://www.gainesville.org/contact/;
4.) For the city’s water customers, we encourage you to utilize the above measures first. If you still feel it’s imperative you visit our offices at 757 Queen City Parkway, please utilize our drive-thru services. The lobby is closed.
Transit services: Gainesville Connection suspended, Dial-A-Ride modified
Following Gov. Brian Kemp signing into law Thursday, April 2, a statewide shelter-in-place order, which took effect Friday, April 3, leaders have postponed reopening the Gainesville-Hall County Senior Life Center and reactivating other community services.
The Senior Life Center and Meals on Wheels program will remain closed through Friday, April 17.
Gainesville Connection services, which normally provides scheduled bus services throughout Gainesville and parts of Oakwood and unincorporated Hall County, will also remain suspended through April 17.
Dial-A-Ride vanpool services will continue to operate with three vehicles instead of the usual seven. Trips will be prioritized for groceries, pharmacy supplies and medical appointments.
Read the full press release here.
Garbage and recycling information
As a precautionary measure, and to continue providing Gainesville citizens an essential service, the city is asking customers to voluntarily bring their household garbage to the curb by no later than 7 a.m. on their designated pickup days. This voluntary measure became effective Monday, March 23.
This practice falls in line with social-distancing efforts, which will help the city protect both your family and Solid Waste employees by limiting the occurrences where staff has to enter your property. To learn more about the city’s garbage pickup guidelines, visit gainesville.org/solid-waste.
COVID-19: Event/activity cancellations, facility closures
- All city administrative offices and facilites: closed indefinitely
- Gainesville Municipal Court sessions: canceled through April 13
- Gainesville-Hall County Senior Life Center: closed through April 17
- Gainesville Connection: suspended through April 17
- Dial-A-Ride services: half fleet through April 17, trips prioritized to pharmacies, grocery stores, medical appointments and work. Click here for more information.
- Frances Meadows Aquatic Center will remain closed to the public until further notice. Staff will be responding to phone calls and emails as necessary.
- Gainesville Civic Center and rentals: canceled through April 26
- Martha Hope Cabin rentals: canceled through April 26
- Fair Street Neighborhood Center and rentals: canceled through April 26
- Pavilion rentals: canceled through April 26
Public parks are open to the public, but social distancing is recommended.
- Summer Community Theatre auditions will be rescheduled at a later date
- Gainesville Spring Chicken Festival, rescheduled for June 20
- Food Truck Friday: April 10 event canceled, next event will be Friday, May 8
- All athletics scheduled through April 26 (to include games, practices, tournaments and field rentals) canceled. Efforts are being made to postpone the start dates of youth and adult leagues.
- All recreation programs scheduled through April 26 (to include Spring Break Camp, Touch-A-Truck, Spring Swing Tennis Tournament and instructional programs) have been canceled.
- Gainesville Parks & Recreation Department’s Easter Egg Hunt on the Midtown Greenway canceled
- Frances Meadows Aquatic Center’s Underwater Easter Egg Hunt and Swim with the Easter Bunny event canceled
- Mutts on Main canceled