Gwinnett Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Charlotte Nash declares local state of emergency

COVID-19 , Government Affairs , Industry News ,

Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

A local state of emergency has been declared for Gwinnett County through mid-April.

Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash issued the declaration shortly before the commission's 10 a.m. work session Tuesday. The move authorizes the county to marshal its resources to help the county's residents make it through the outbreak of the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 as safely as possible.

It will remain in place until April 13.

“Based upon the President’s Declaration of National Emergency and the Governor’s Public Health State of Emergency, I believe it is in the best interest of the welfare of Gwinnett County and its residents to declare a local state of emergency to activate certain emergency powers under the Gwinnett County Emergency Management Ordinance,” Nash said.

As of noon Monday, the most recent information publicly available when Nash issued the declaration, there were five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Gwinnett County, and 121 cases statewide.

The outbreak lead to a somewhat unusual site at the Board of Commissioners' work session Tuesday morning: business was conducted with only two of the board's members were present in person.

Nash and Commission Vice-Chair Marlene Fosque attended the meeting in person while Commissioners Jace Brooks and Ben Ku participated by telephone.

Commissioner Tommy Hunter did not participate in the meeting, either in person or by telephone.

The declaration of local emergency authorizes Nash to take certain actions including:

• Suspend county laws governing how the county conducts business if they hinder the county's ability to respond to the outbreak

•Utilize all county resources, including all agencies over which the county has budgetary control, to help Gwinnett cope with the outbreak

• Use county property to help cope with the pandemic when necessary

• Make temporary housing available for emergency shelters

• Suspend or limit the issuing, sale or dispensing of alcohol licenses, explosives and flammable substances and liquids

• Perform other functions deemed necessary to handle the outbreak

• "Provide benefits to citizens upon execution of an intergovernmental agreement for grants, if such are available, to meet COVID-19 related necessary expenses or serious needs of individuals or families adversely affected by COVID-19 in cases where the individuals or families are unable to meet the expenses or needs from other means, provided that such grants are authorized only when matching state or federal funds are available for such purposes."