BLAKELY, Ga. (WDHN) — Blakely Mayor Travis Wimbush signed an executive order Tuesday putting a shelter in place order across the entire city.
As of this report, Early County has five confirmed cases of COVID-19, with one ending in death. The deceased patient was a Blakely resident.
To help stop the spread of the disease, the city requires residents to self-isolate as much as possible by remaining indoors unless they need to leave for essential activities, businesses, or government functions.
Essential activities include:
- Those necessary to maintaining one’s health including getting medical supplies, visiting a healthcare professional, or getting supplies needed to work from home.
- Getting food, pet supplies, household products, or other products needed to keep a home safe and sanitary
- Outdoor activities like hiking, running, bicycling, and walking. However, team sports and activities that involve 10 or more people are not allowed.
All businesses inside Blakely that are not essential businesses must close up shop. They can still continue any operations that only involve employees or contractors working from home.
Essential businesses must not have more than half of their approved occupancy level and maintain social distancing (minimum of six feet apart), particularly in lines.
Blakely defines essential businesses as:
- Healthcare businesses
- Essential infrastructure (public works, emergency home or business repairs, utility provisions, road repairs, and public safety)
- Grocery stores, convenience stories, produce vendors, food banks, and other retailers that sell food, pet supplies, and household products.
- Social service business that provide shelter and food to the poor
- Agriculture, livestock, and fishing
- The media
- Gas stations, auto supply, repair shops, and other similar businesses
- Financial institutions
- Hardware stores
- Plumbers and electricians
- Educational institutions that perform essential functions and teach through distance learning
- Food establishments with take-out or delivery
- Mailing and shipping businesses
- Home-based senior care
Hotels, motels, and other lodgings can be open, but guests must stay in their rooms, which must be thoroughly cleaned after the guest leaves.
Religious services, funerals, and public celebrations that may have 10 or more people are asked to be canceled or rescheduled. Also, city parks and other facilities are now closed.
Citizens are also allowed to travel if it is essential. The city recognizes the following as essential travel:
- Any travel related to essential activities or functions listed above
- Travel required to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities, or other vulnerable people
- Travel to and from institutions of learning if the citizen needs materials for distance learning
- Traveling back home from outside of Blakely
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order
- Travel required for non-residents to go back their homes outside of Blakely
Citizens will also be placed under curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. in which they cannot leave their homes. This does not apply to first responders, essential government employees, military personnel, rescue and safety personnel, utility workers, and healthcare workers that are acting in their capacity.
It also won’t apply to workers who are traveling to and from a lawful place of employment.
Violations of this order, which took effect midnight on March 24, 2020, can result in a maximum fine of $1,000, a maximum sentence of 180, or both.