Date: March 26
Hello Ball Ground:
The following is a message from Mayor Roberts.
“This morning, with the approval of the City Council, I have declared a State of Emergency in Ball Ground in response to the escalating health risks from Covid-19 and have issued a Shelter in Place Order. It will begin at midnight tonight and initially be in effect for 14 days.
Seeing the exponential rise of COVID-19 cases in Georgia has made me and the council very concerned about the health risks and safety of people in our community. This Shelter in Place action being taken by the City concurrently with the County and other cities in the County, as well as other nearby counties, will hopefully be effective in lowering the number of coronavirus cases and save lives in our region. I believe this Shelter in Place Emergency Order to request and encourage people to stay at home is the right thing to do.
So exactly what is a Shelter in Place Order? It is really more of a “Stay at Home” order. For many of you this means no change. So many of you have already taken the appropriate steps. Simply stay home unless you need to leave your home for work or essential services.
What are essential services? Medical treatment, pharmacy needs, gas, to provide care for or check on family or care givers, Auto Repair etc. (and to go to work in support of essential/exempt businesses)
What businesses are non-essential? Unfortunately we do have some valuable businesses in Ball Ground that will be forced to close for the near term because they cannot provide their services while maintaining the 6 foot distancing mandate, or ensure proper cleaning of equipment between users.
What about restaurants? Restaurants may remain open, but for take away only. Curb side or drive thru services are permitted but no indoor or patio dining.
Fortunately most of our businesses will be allowed to remain open if they choose. Even businesses that are non-essential are allowed to continue operating IF AND ONLY IF they keep their numbers below 10, including employees and maintain the 6 foot distance requirements between all customers/employees etc.
Essential Businesses will also be provided with challenges though, as they will be expected to maintain 6 foot distancing requirements and to monitor compliance. This will certainly be a challenge for essential businesses such as the Pharmacy and the Dollar General as they attempt to manage customers in the checkout line and call for the 6 foot separation.
Much of this though falls directly on you, our residents, to be mindful of the 6 foot distancing when obtaining essential services and when working. The overwhelming majority of you have already done exactly what needs to be done and this is essential for flattening the curve and prevent overburdening our medical system.
We understand there will be many questions. As always please feel free to respond to this email and City Manager Eric Wilmarth will do his best to get you the answers you need.
In the end this comes done to applying commons sense. Something Ball Ground residents have plenty of. I am confident that each of you will continue to do what is best for you, your family and our community.
Take care, and I know it is getting old……but wash your hands, clean those frequently touched surfaces, and don’t touch your face/eyes, and practice physical distancing. We can still be social!
The full ordinance will be uploaded on our website later today.