DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — In a virtual press conference on April 23, 2020, Dekalb County CEO Michael Thurmond discussed the Executive Order he issued following Governor Brian Kemp’s Order to re-open certain Georgia businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Thurmond calls the plan “COVID-19: The Path Forward,” and describes it as “a 30-day transition plan to reinforce pandemic mitigation measures and restore economic prosperity to Dekalb County.”

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This is in response to Kemp’s announcement that businesses that allow personal contact, like gyms, barber shops, hair salons and massage parlors will be allowed to open on Friday, April 24. Dine-in restaurants, movie theaters and bowling alleys can open on Monday, April 27. All businesses will have to follow restrictions, like usage of masks and gloves, social distancing and properly sanitizing their buildings.

In Thurmond’s Executive Order, he lists several health and safety recommendations for all Dekalb County citizens, which include wearing cloth face covers, continuing to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines of washing hands, practicing social distancing and frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces daily.

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The order also spells out additional steps residents and businesses should take to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and lists guidelines for people aged 65 and older, longterm care and nursing home facilities, houses of worship.

He also listed these enhanced measures for businesses to take:

  1. Require workers to report when a member of his/her household is exhibiting signs of illness and not report to work;
  2. Consider implementing additional front-line pay for the period of time that the State of Georgia is under a declaration of emergency;
  3. Focus on enhanced communication with employees and public;
  4. Encourage patrons to take precautions, such as wearing cloth face covers;
  5. Implement contingency plans in advance in the event that an employee becomes ill;
  6. Obtain extra personal protective equipment, when able to acquire without interfering with any need by healthcare workers;
  7. Consider expanding leave policies to encourage workers who are sick or need to care for a sick family member to remain at home and to accommodate workers who must care for their children due to school cancellation;Is it just me or does
  8. Consider cleaning and sanitizing restrooms after every use;
  9. For businesses that primarily serve clientele that are over the age of 65, reside in nursing homes or long-term care facilities or who are medically fragile, as described herein, consider additional and more frequent disinfection and cleaning of the premises.
  10. Follow the recommendations and guidance issued by State of Georgia Boards that maintain workers’ respective licenses.

Thurmond said he is also urging state and public health officials to take steps to address the disproportionate effects of the coronavirus on African Americans and any people who have socioeconomic challenges.

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Citizens are urged to report any violations of the order by calling the State Coronavirus Hotline at 844-442-2681.