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Posted on: March 24, 2020

Governor Issues Executive Order & Env. Health Limits Restaurants to Take Out/Drive Thru/Delivery

Governor Kemp’s executive order, which takes effect today, March 24, at noon and will remain in effect for fourteen days, requires certain individuals to shelter in place, places limits on large gatherings, and closes all bars and nightclubs.

In addition, the Environmental Health Office is closing all restaurant dining rooms and limiting service to take out, drive thru, or delivery only. To report violations or for more information, call the Oconee County Environmental Health Office at 706-769-7060. Do not call 911, as this will overload the emergency system. Please see attached document “COVID-19 Guidance - Restaurants & Food Service” for specific guidance to restaurants.

The Governor’s order requires individuals in a high-risk group to self-isolate, quarantine, or shelter in place in their residence. This group includes residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities, those with chronic lung disease, individuals undergoing cancer treatment, those with confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus, or those who have had contact with an individual diagnosed with Coronavirus. Oconee County also strongly encourages all individuals to follow this advice to limit social interactions.

In addition, no more than ten people may gather at any business or other establishment unless individuals are able to maintain at least six feet of separation at all times. This applies to all businesses and organizations, including gyms. All bars and nightclubs are also required to close, though Oconee County does not currently have any of these establishments within its county limits.

The Department of Public Health has the authority to close any business or organization that does not operate in compliance with this order.

We have been asked why a local declaration of emergency has not been enacted for Oconee County. Under our Ordinance, a declaration of emergency for the state by the governor automatically puts Oconee County in a local state of emergency.

The public may continue to conduct county business through the website www.oconeecounty.com or by calling or emailing county staff while Oconee County Government buildings remain closed to foot traffic. Contact information for staff and departments is available on the website. For updates on Oconee County’s response to COVID-19, please visit www.oconeecounty.com/coronavirus.

Oconee County Government will continue to provide essential public safety, emergency response, and water and sewer services. Individuals who need to visit the Clerk of Courts office should call ahead to 706-769-3940. Upon arrival at the courthouse, individuals who have called ahead may call the Clerk of Courts office from their cell phone, and a deputy will admit them.

The following contact information and direct links for common transactions may be helpful:

Oconee County Website
www.oconeecounty.com

Clerk of Courts
• Telephone: 706-769-3940
Finance Department
• Telephone: 706-769-2944
• Email: financedept@oconee.ga.us
Planning & Code Enforcement
• Telephone: 706-769-3910 (Planning)
• Email: druark@oconee.ga.us (Planning)
• Telephone: 706-769-3907 (Permitting)
• Email: esmith@oconee.ga.us (Permitting)
Tax Commissioner
• Telephone: 706-769-3917
• Renew vehicle registration: https://eservices.drives.ga.gov/_/ 
• Pay property taxes: https://oconeecountyga.governmentwindow.com/tax.html 
• Drop box is available for payments outside the Oconee County Courthouse
Water Resources
• Telephone: 706-769-3960
• Pay water online bill: https://www.oconeecounty.com/498/View-andor-Pay-your-Bill
• Drop box is available for payments outside the Oconee County Government Annex
• In response to the emerging COVID-19 situation, the Water Resources Department is temporarily halting the disconnection of water service for non-payment
Traffic Tickets
• Pay traffic tickets¬: https://www.ezcourtpay.com/Tix/Default.aspx 
Emergency Notifications
• Sign up for CodeRED notifications: https://tinyurl.com/oconeega 

COVID-19 FAQ’s
What should I do if I feel sick?
If you feel sick, it is imperative that you remain at home and only leave your residence to obtain medical care. In addition, you should practice home isolation by separating yourself from others in your home. For more information on what to do if you are sick, visit https://www.cdc.gov/…/…/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include, but are not limited to: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Should I shelter in place?
Remaining in your home and limiting social contact helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community and decreases your chances of contracting this disease. If you are an individual at high risk, including residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities, those with chronic lung disease, individuals undergoing cancer treatment, those with confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus, or those who have had contact with an individual diagnosed with Coronavirus, you must isolate, quarantine, or shelter in place per Governor Kemp’s executive order. 

What if I know a relative has been exposed?
If you have a friend, family member, or other close contact that has or is suspected of having Coronavirus, you should monitor your health and call your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. For more guidance on caring for someone with Coronavirus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/…/2019…/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html

How often should I go grocery shopping?
Plan to make larger, less frequent trips to the grocery store, but there is no need to stockpile vast amounts of items. Remember to practice social distancing, avoid touching your face, and follow all other current recommendations from the CDC.

Please remember to take the following steps to prevent virus transmission:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Stay home when you are sick
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

For more information about Coronavirus, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health at https://dph.georgia.gov and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

COVID-19 Guidance - Restaurants & Food Service
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