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Countywide under-18 curfew begins tonight, maximum occupancies reduced

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MARCH 20, 2020 — Liberty County Judge Jay Knight today issued six executive orders to go into effect at midnight tonight, the last of which places a 24-hour curfew on minors under 18 who are not in school or accompanied by a parent, guardian or school personnel, with exceptions for their travel to and from work, school, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, parks, banks and restaurants with the permission of their parents or legal guardians.

The fifth order restricts the occupancy of any building open to the public to no more than 20 percent of its maximum occupancy under the International Building Code. This applies to daycare facilities as well as other businesses. Buildings open to the public are to prominently display maximum occupancy signs reflecting the reduced number allowed inside.

That order also states, “Persons must adhere to social distancing by keeping a minimum of 6 feet separation from each other.”

Orders Nos. 1-4 repeat those issued by the governor, forbidding gatherings of 10 or more people, eating or drinking at bars, restaurants or food courts. Use of drive-thru, pick-up, and delivery services by eateries is permitted. Gyms, game rooms, and massage parlors, if we have any here, are also off limits. Schools are closed, and we are not to visit the nursing homes unless it is to provide critical care assistance.

There are penalties that can be enforced against anyone violating the order.

“A person who violates any provision of these regulations, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1000.00) or confinement in the Liberty County Jail for a term not to exceed 180 days.”

Below the orders, the following recommendations are made:

“People, businesses and communities should immediately undertake hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation that are accessible, affordable and known to be effective against COVID-19. Wash hands often for twenty (20) seconds and encourage others to do the same. If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. People who are known to have, or are under investigation or monitoring, for COVID-19, should adhere to the direction provided to them by duly authorized persons, including public health officials. Failure to abide by such direction may result in involuntary quarantine or isolation for the purposes of preventing further community spread of COVID-19.

“People who are ill, especially those with symptoms consistent with influenza or COVID 19, should isolate themselves at home until they recover. Such persons should only present for medical evaluation and treatment if their symptoms are such that they cannot continue to be cared for in their home. And, when seeking medical care should call their doctor or health care facility before arriving to allow them to prepare. Limit trips into the public to essential outings. Traveling to work, the grocery store, the pharmacy or to seek medical care would be considered essential trips. Limit as much as possible close contact with other people. Stay six feet away. Employers should allow work at home alternatives to the greatest extent possible.

“This executive order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

“This executive order does not mandate sheltering in place, but it is encouraged. Any travel not to work, grocery stores, pharmacies, or other healthcare facilities is discouraged.”


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