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Chattahoochee Co. Declares
Local State of Emergency

From the April 1, 2020 issue of The Journal
   At the deadline for this issue of the newspaper, there was one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Chattahoochee County, according to the West Central Health District. Specific information about whether it was on Fort Benning or the civilian portion of the county was not given.
   Regardless, Chattahoochee County officials are taking the following action to slow or minimize the potential for localized spread. Chattahoochee County declared a local state of emergency on March 23 and has discontinued public access to buildings and facilities during normal business hours through April 21. Should any greater risk or threat occur, this action may be extended or amended.
   County employees will be reporting to work during their normal shifts and will be available by telephone or other electronic means. Certain field workers such as the code enforcement officer, animal control officers, and others will be performing duties outside of assigned offices. Public contact will be discouraged by field personnel and social distancing will be practiced.
   We are encouraging the public to use online resources for payments or to conduct other business during this period, where available.
   While business activities will be limited, we will be providing additional information on our County website – www.ugoccc.com – social media and mass media concerning updates.
   While we are reluctant to create this inconvenience, the County government is doing everything possible to promote best public health practices suggested by known and credible sources monitoring the pandemic. Naturally, we hope that this period will not need to be extended. Meanwhile, all citizen-based public safety (law enforcement, fire, EMS, E-911, animal control), and public works functions (roads, solid waste/recycling, water) will remain active with some potential adjustments or limitations.
   In addition, Commission Chairman Gerald Douglas signed a resolution on March 18 under the advice of EMA Director Johnny Floyd.
   The resolution (available in its entirety here), which runs through April 21, includes:
   * All public or private community gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited during the duration of the order. A "community gathering" does not include the following or similar uses as long of those present are generally not within six feet of each other for extended periods: grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, spaces where people my be in transit or waiting for transit (bus stations, etc.).
   * All matters requiring a public hearing (zonings, variances, regulatory permits, etc.) are stayed through April 21. County staff are directed to work with applicants and those otherwise affected to ensure that financial impact and/or disruptions to business function is kept to a minimum.
   * Regulatory permits in need of a public hearing prior to renewal will be extended until public hearings are resumed.
   * The County Commission will continue to have meetings, but there will be adjustments during this time. Functions of the Commission that customarily involve public input (strategic plans, ordinances, land use planning, etc.) shall be suspended through April 21. All zonings, variances, etc. shall be suspended through April 21. Non-essential business (like proclamations, etc.) shall be suspended through April 21. Residents are strongly encouraged to observe Commission meetings via online streaming. Residents who choose to attend any open meetings shall be requested to observe social distancing protocols while observing in the gallery.