COVID-19 Update (March 17, 2020)

Facebook Live Town Hall THIS THURSDAY

In an effort to keep you updated on the state’s response to COVID-19, I am hosting a Facebook Live (online) Town Hall. Tune in this Thursday for a legislative update on COVID-19, the impact on our pending elections, and what happened on Crossover Day. We’ll also discuss the roll-out of the U.S. Census and any other topics on your mind.

You can RSVP for the event here or by clicking the graphic below.

State of Emergency declared in Georgia

Yesterday, the General Assembly ratified Gov. Kemp’s declaration of a state of emergency. This declaration provides the Governor with expansive powers to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current declaration will expire on April 13, 2020, at which point Gov. Kemp is expected to renew it under Georgia law. The Legislature has already certified another special session and will convene on April 15, 2020 to either ratify or terminate Gov. Kemp’s renewed declaration for another 30 days.

I have posted additional information about Gov. Kemp’s powers under a state of emergency on my website here.

As events continue to unfold, stay up-to-date with the latest information from the Georgia Department of Public Health here.

Gov. Kemp closes all public schools through March 31

Gov. Kemp has ordered all public elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools to close effective March 18th until March 31st. You can read more about this action here.

Impacted City services and events:

  • Atlanta
    • Mayor Bottoms has ordered that all bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, clubs, and other public gathering spots limit their occupancy to no more than 50 people. The Executive Order will remain in effect until March 31st.
  • Brookhaven
    • Yesterday, Mayor Ernst declared a state of emergency in Brookhaven and the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance calling for bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues to immediately cease dine-in operations. Take-out and delivery options are still available, and customers are encouraged to tip extra to help our service-industry workers. The ordinance, which you can read more about here, remains in effect until March 30.
    • In addition, the City has closed all recreation centers, and suspended youth and athletic league events through April 3rd, which you can read more about here.
    • Stay up to date on Brookhaven’s COVID-19 response here.
  • Chamblee
    • ​​​​​​​Updates from Chamblee can be found here.
  • Dunwoody
    • ​​​​​​​Updates from Dunwoody can be found here.
  • Sandy Springs
    • ​​​​​​​Updates from Sandy Springs can be found here.

Elections Update

Early voting for the March 24th Presidential Preference Primary has been delayed until May 19th.

  • If you have already voted, when you vote in the May 19th election, you will only receive the May 19th ballot.
  • If you have not already voted in the March 24th election, you will receive two ballots when you vote (if you choose to vote via early vote or in-person on May 19th): one for the March 24th election and one for the May 19th election.

Absentee voting (hand-marked paper ballot) remains available and can be requested here.

As a reminder, I have posted on my website a Voter Guide for the March 24th election for both DeKalb and Fulton County voters. I will post a Voter Guide for the May 19th election as we approach early voting.

Free AJC.com for updated information

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is providing complimentary access to its online newspaper as a public service. You can read the daily newspaper for free here: AJC.com/epaper.

Don’t forget to join me online for my Facebook Live Town Hall on Thursday.

Stay safe,
Matthew