It’s official: All local police are enforcing Shelter-in-Place order

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Peachtree City Police Chief Janet Moon speaks to the City Council Feb. 6 Photo/Cal Beverly.
Peachtree City Police Chief Janet Moon speaks to the City Council Feb. 6 Photo/Cal Beverly.

After some initial confusion on which law enforcement agencies were enforcing which parts of Gov. Brian Kemp’s statewide shelter-in-place order, it’s been sorted out.

Local police departments are enforcing every part of the governor’s order except for business closures. Clamping down on businesses has been reserved for state officers and county sheriffs, according to a clarification order issued Friday.

But it’s not intended to be a heavy hand, according to Chief Janet Moon of the Peachtree City Police Department.

“We have not done a roadblock and there is no curfew,” Moon said Saturday. “We are focusing [on] social distancing and keeping the groups to 10 and under. Our hope is to have voluntary compliance, education and give warnings so we don’t have to issue any citations.”

Peachtree City police will be monitoring the city’s closed-down parks as well, Chief Moon said, noting that the 100 miles of the cart path system is still open for use. “My main concern, as well, is to keep my officers safe and healthy during this.”

If, however, persuasion doesn’t work, police departments in Peachtree City, Fayetteville and Tyrone — as well as the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department — have the authority to write violators a citation, which means a trip to court facing a judge.

Violation of the governor’s order is technically a misdemeanor, which upon conviction carries a fine of up to $1,000 and/or 12 months in jail.

Despite some social media rumors of curfews, there is NO pandemic curfew of any kind contained in the governor’s order. However, that does not mean that curfews imposed well before the coronavirus pandemic have been overturned. Local curfews that were in effect before the pandemic — and that had nothing to do with the pandemic — still are enforceable, just like all the other city rules and regulations that had nothing to do with the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Peachtree City has posted some questions with answers about what the governor’s order means to individual citizens.

Here’s that list:

Questions & Answers

1. Can I still take my golf cart to the store via the paths?

Yes, the paths remain open for necessary travel and recreational activities. Just maintain 6-foot social distancing.

2. Can citizens still walk the cart paths even though there is a shelter in place order coming from the Governor.

Yes, citizens can still walk, run, jog, bike, skateboard, or use a golf cart on the multi-use path system. The paths remain open for necessary travel and essential services as outlined in the executive order. Jon

3. Is there a process for reporting people not following the Executive Order while on the path system?

Yes, you can contact constituent services of Governor Brian Kemp at: 404-656-1776

4. Are yard sales still allowed in the city during the Executive Order?

The executive order does not specifically address yard sales, but the language can be interpreted to not allow yard sales. For clarification you may contact constituent services of Governor Brian Kemp at: 404-656-1776

5. Is the Rockaway Road Recycle Center still open on Wednesdays and Saturdays?

Yes, but staff support may be limited due to the 6-foot social distancing requirement.

6. Will the parks be re-opened if people can maintain 6 ft. social distance?

Local governments must require 6 feet between each person in or on a local government property. This applies to officials, employees, and citizens.

Gatherings of more than ten (10) people are banned unless there is at least six (6) feet between each person at all times. If people congregate in certain areas law enforcement will warn them to disband. If they fail to comply, they may face criminal charges.

The parks remain closed because playground equipment is not routinely disinfected and you really can’t maintain the six feet social distancing requirement.

7. Who will enforce the Executive Order?

The County Sheriff and his deputies are authorized to enforce the closure of businesses in accordance with Governors Executive Order. This guidance has been updated by a new governor’s order April 3 that specifies that city police can enforce all provisions of the order except for the business closures.

What can you do outdoors?

Here is what is Open…

Multi-Use Paths are OPEN:

You can still use the golf cart paths for essential travel like grocery store trips and getting to work. Please ride with members of your household only.

Recreational Activities like: Fishing, boating, bike riding, running, outdoor exercise, etc.

Golf Courses remain open.

What is closed?

Battery Way

All Parks and Playgrounds

Boat Docks

Drake Field

Businesses that will be closed include…

Bars

Nightclubs

Gyms

Fitness Centers

Bowling Allies

Theaters

Live Performance Venues

Operators of Amusement Parks

Dine in-services at restaurants and private social clubs (Except take-out, pick up or delivery)

Estheticians

Hair Designers

Beauty Shops, Salons and Barber Shops

Cosmetology, Hair Design & Barbering Schools

Esthetics Schools

Nail Care Schools

Licensed Massage Therapists

All other entities may continue to operate subject to specific restrictions.

Those restrictions vary depending on whether your business is defined as a Critical Infrastructure workforce by the Department of Homeland Security.

Contact:

If you feel your business should not be closed, contact:

The Georgia Department of Economic Development404-962-4000

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