Coronavirus Update: Atlanta residents have been ordered to stay in their homes

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an Executive Order instituting a temporary order for residents within the city limits of Atlanta to stay in their place of residence in response to the rising number of coronavirus infections.

The order came just after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ordered medically fragile groups across the state to shelter-in-place, closed bars and nightclubs and restricted gatherings of 10 or more statewide. However, Kemp’s order stopped-short of ordering all residents in their home or locking down the state.

“I appreciate the leadership of Governor Brian Kemp during this crisis and his concern for the wellbeing of the people across Georgia,” Bottoms said. “While Governor Kemp has to consider the needs of the state as a whole, as Mayor of Atlanta, I have been entrusted with making decisions that are specific to our city. Given our population density, high rate of asthma, and various underlying health conditions found within our city’s populations, I am issuing a Stay at Home Order for Atlantans.”


“Until we flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, the City must exercise every reasonable power to slow the spread of this virus,” said Bottoms. “Across the globe we are seeing a growing sense of urgency, and we must all make some sacrifices to break the chain of infections and avert a worst-case scenario.”

Today’s action orders Atlanta residents to stay in their place of residence and encourages those sharing residential spaces to maintain social distancing of at least six feet.

The Order requires Atlantans to remain in their homes throughout the day. Individuals may leave their place of residence only for essential activities, essential governmental functions or to operate essential businesses.

Residents can leave their homes to seek medical care, to care for a loved one or relative, to pick up food for themselves or others, and to perform essential work.

The order lays out essential work as follows:

1. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;

2. Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;

3. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;

4. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;

5. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;

6. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;

7. Banks and related financial institutions;

8. Hardware stores; lodging businesses (e.g., hotels, motels, conference centers);

9. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;

10. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;

11. Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;

12. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;

13. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site. Cafeterias in hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities shall not be subject to the restrictions contained in this order.

14. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;

15. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;

16. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;

17.  Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;

18. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;

19. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services;

20. Childcare facilities; and

21. Utility, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, railroads, public transportation, taxi/rideshare, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).

You can view Mayor Bottoms’ Executive Order online here.

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