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Please Help Us Stop the Spread of COVID19

The City of Canton is working to provide our community updates on the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). As you know, we are now in a global pandemic and both the President and Governor have declared Public Health States of Emergency. Recently, Mayor Bill Grant and the City Council followed suit with a local Emergency Ordinance under the current State and Federal declarations. By noon today, there were 507 reported cases in Georgia, including 17 cases in Cherokee County, which have resulted in 14 deaths statewide. It is imperative that our citizens and businesses get behind local efforts to flatten the curve and decrease the spread of this virus. We need your help.

What is your City doing?
On Thursday, March 19th, the Mayor and Council held its regularly scheduled meeting (a video of that meeting is available HERE). The City Council adopted an Emergency Ordinance (available HERE) which allows the Mayor and Council to meet via conference call during the next 90 days to conduct business of the City. It also allows the Mayor and/or City Manager to adopt policies and regulations related to City personnel, limit public access to meetings to livestream only, and to restrict access to the public to City facilities. Additionally, the Mayor and Council cancelled all public meetings for the month of April, with the exception of special called emergency meetings that may arise from local concerns.

The City of Canton facilities will remain closed to the public through April 13th. This includes City Hall, Public Safety & Municipal Court Complex, Public Works Facility, and the Canton Theatre. We are encouraging individuals to do business with the City of Canton via Cantonga.gov, by calling 770-704-1500 for non utility concerns, calling 770-704-1502 for all utility concerns, and emailing us at TellUs@cantonga.gov. Additionally, the City is moving to a minimal on-site staffing level March 23 to April 10 to allow employees to telework from home, work remotely from City fleet, and to provide back up redundancy to critical City operations. We appreciate public patience during this time. Additional information about City operations can be found in this memo from the City Manager.

On Friday, March 20, Mayor Bill Grant issued an Executive Order allowing restuarants to provide package sales of beer and wine with to-go orders. The hope is that this measure will cut down on the number of individuals dining out inside restaurants and encourage take out orders, while providing support to local restaurants. Additionally, the City is waiving penalties and late fees for utility bills, is suspending disconnects on utility accounts through April 30, and is allowing for small business hardship claims to be sent by email for extensions on business occupational license renewals and other monthly/quarterly business filings.

What can your business do?
One of the best ways to slow the spread of COVID19 is to limit public contact. While the City of Canton is not currently looking to restrict business operations, we believe it is in the best interest of the community that local businesses follow the CDC Guidelines for Businesses & Employers as well as follow the 15 Day Guidelines published by the White House to stop the spread of COVID19. These guidelines encourage citizens to avoid social gatherings of 10 or more and avoid dining in at restaurants and bars. We hope that our business community will take these guidelines as a recommendation for best business practices from the City during these challenging times. Encourage occupational limits in your facilities. Encourage to-go, delivery, and curbside services. Encourage online shopping. Please work with us to discourage large gatherings.

Your business can make a big difference in the slowing of coronavirus. If you are making any operational adjustments and want us to help get out the word, please email us.

What can our faithbased community do?
We highly encourage our local churches to utilize online platforms for services. We have seen in neighboring communities the impacts of worship gatherings and the spread of COVID19. Please follow the guidelines for small gatherings. Additionally, we need our local faithbased community to help provide daily social assistance to our vulnerable populations. Please call and check on your members, especially seniors and those with severe health conditions.

What can our citizens do?
There are many ways that every person in Canton can participate in slowing this pandemic. First and foremost, stay home if you are sick! The CDC and Department of Public Health urge citizens that exhibit symptoms of coronavirus (dry cough, fever, shortness of breath) to call a local health provider, emergency room, or public health before going to those facilities. The Georgia COVID Hotline is 1-844-442-2681.

For our public that is not sick, we encourage you to practice social distancing. This means sheltering in place, limiting public contact by being considerate of distances in local grocery stores, keeping your hands clean after coming in contact with high-touch areas such as fuel pumps, ATMs, and door handles. Reach out to local restaurants and utilize to-go, carryout, and delivery services. Please do not dine in restaurants and limit your gatherings to 10 people or fewer if you must gather. You may utilize City parks and trails for exercise, but again we stress social distancing. Please discourage your children from using playgrounds as these can only be cleaned so often and are difficult to completely close down given their integration with our parks.

Lastly, our citizens can look out for each other. Now is a great time to clean out closets and consider future contributions to organizations like MUST MinistriesCherokee Family Violence CenterSalvation Army, and Goodwill. There are so many others. Consider a donation to these and other non-profit organizations that are currently providing assistance for laid off workers, emergency housing, meal and bill assistance programs, and general social services. Consider providing assistance to local businesses by buying a giftcard, shopping online, or just calling to say hello.

You can keep up to date with the City of Canton by following us on social media via facebook , twitter , or instagram .

 
Thank you for helping #flattenthecurve
 
Sincerely,

Mayor Bill Grant, Canton City Council, & City Staff

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