City of Valdosta and Lowndes County Issue March 30th COVID-19 Update
Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
Lowndes County and the Cities of Valdosta, Hahira, Remerton, Lake Park, and Dasher, are strongly urging everyone to heed the Local Management Order issued last week that mandates specific business closures and voluntary stay at home measures. This order is an effort to protect our community from the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. It takes you, our residents to make this order work.
Residents should not travel to dine-in restaurants (unless it is for curbside/take-out service), bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios, public events and gatherings, and convention centers. Reports of gatherings that violate the current local order will be investigated by code enforcement and law enforcement officials.
Law enforcement and fire departments will continue to keep our community safe; water and electric workers will continue to provide safe and reliable water and power; and sanitation workers will continue to pick up and dispose of trash.
“Our order is very clear. The best thing we can to help prevent the spread of this virus is to adhere to the guidelines put in place and stay home unless you are traveling for essential purposes,” said Mayor Scott James Matheson. “I feel it is our responsibility to take all the preventative measures possible to reduce the health impacts in the City of Valdosta. We expect 100 percent compliance with the measures we put in place. The order is not designed to be punitive but it is not a suggestion.”
The measures are designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which can be debilitating for most people, but deadly for some, especially the elderly. People who believe they may have contracted COVID-19 should contact medical professionals and follow their advice before proceeding to a hospital or doctor’s office.
“Decisions made that disrupt services in our community are not considered without input from emergency management stakeholders. Local governments are responsible for protecting the health, safety and welfare of the communities they serve. This can include moving forward with measures that place additional restrictions on gatherings and travel,” said County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter. “Please understand that social distancing has proven to be successful in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Citizens are encouraged to look for ways to stay home, instead of seeking opportunities to move about. If violations of the current order continue, officials will be placed in a position to consider additional mandated measures.”
Local Government Officials have received many questions how someone can report of violation of the Emergency Management Order.
Lowndes County’s Emergency Management Order applies to Lowndes County, and the Cities of Valdosta, Hahira, Remerton, Lake Park and Dasher. It was put into effect on March 24, limiting establishments that serve food to takeout, drive through, and delivery only. The order also closed gyms and fitness centers, personal grooming salons, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys, arcades, and gatherings of ten (10) or more.
To report violations of Emergency Management Order within the City limits, you can fill out the online form listed on the City of Valdosta’s website homepage or you call the City of Valdosta Code Enforcement Division at 229-259-3554. Large gatherings that are actively occurring should be reported to the Valdosta Police Department at 229-242-2606.
For violations in the unincorporated area of Lowndes County, citizens may contact Lowndes County Code Enforcement firstname.lastname@example.org. Citizens should dial 911, only in the event of an emergency.