Clayton County extends COVID-19 emergency, bans public gatherings of 10 or more "within unincorporated jurisdictional bounds"

Walmart in Morrow was busy as usual, although shoppers on March 15 seemed to be buying normal amounts of goods. The COVID-19 emergency has driven some people to stockpile large quantities of essentials.

JONESBORO—Clayton County has extended the COVID-19 emergency through April 12 at 11:59 p.m. and banned gatherings of 10 or more people "within public areas of the unincorporated jurisdictional bounds of Clayton County."

According to Chairman Jeff Turner, the ban affects the unincorporated areas of the county, leaving individual cities free to determine whether to adopt similar restrictions.

It does not affect things like grocery shopping, Turner explained.

"It's public gatherings, like outside," he said. "The bars are already shut down. Banks and grocery stores are still open. You just can't hang out on the street corner or have kids congregating in cars, stuff like that."

Turner noted, "The message is that people need to obey this and take it seriously, and abide by the guidelines of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the governor's office. Wash your hands. Stay at least 6 feet away from people.

"For us to restore ourselves as a strong community, we have to abide by the guidelines so we can create a healthy community sooner rather than later," he added. "If everyone does what they are supposed to do, hopefully the coronavirus will leave us very soon. I hope and pray that then we can begin rebuilding. Do the right thing."

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