FOREST PARK—After residents began calling Forest Park Police upset about the parks being shut down due to COVID-19 dangers, Mayor Angelyne Butler issued a statement to residents Thursday.
"We are five days in, and I am pleased to say that thus far the city of Forest Park is still COVID-19-free," Butler said. "As of noon Thursday, March 19, 2020, out of 287 confirmed statewide cases, only 6 are in Clayton County. We are aware there is a host of information circulating. While we do not want people to panic, we want to keep you informed. Every attempt will be made to factually address the concerns of the people of Forest Park.
"Forest Park City Hall, Municipal Court, and all city properties will be closed until further notice. However, essential employees such as fire, police and Public Works employees will continue to provide services to the public."
The mayor and council are also "exploring extending grace periods for payments due to the city."
Butler urged citizens to act collectively in the fight against COVID-19. "We will get through this if we work together and support each other," she said. "I am calling upon all of Forest Park to continue to follow the health guidelines that have been established and to be patient as we endure this crisis."
Butler referred people to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Department of Public Health and the city's website for updates. Those links are:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 page
Georgia Department of Health COVID-19 page
City of Forest Park homepage
In addition, Clayton County's Emergency Management team has placed flyers in English, Spanish and Vietnamese on the county's COVID-19 updates page and distributed postcards in multiple languages in Forest Park and the rest of Clayton County. Go to claytoncountyga.gov and click on the red banner on the top of the page for county updates and educational materials.
For all the latest local, county, state, national and world news on the COVID-19 emergency, follow the Clayton News' COVID-19 special coverage at news-daily.com/coronavirus .
"We would like to remind everyone the decision to close any city facilities was not taken lightly," FPPD spokesperson Sgt. Kelli Flanigan explained. "Mayor Butler and the City Council have nothing but our residents' and visitors' safety and health in mind as they navigate how to best handle the COVID-19 pandemic."