Last night, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Athens-Clarke County Commission (ACC) adopted a local ordinance declaring a local state of emergency and imposing shelter-in-place requirements applicable to individuals and businesses in Athens-Clarke County. The ordinance went into effect at midnight yesterday and will remain in effect until April 7, 2020, unless extended or rescinded by ACC. ACC’s announcement of the ordinance can be found here.

The ordinance’s shelter-in-place requirements are subject to several exceptions, one of which is for governmental agencies like the University of Georgia to continue performing “essential governmental functions.” The ordinance permits governmental entities to identify employees performing those functions, and those employees are permitted to travel to, from, and within Athens-Clarke County as necessary to perform their duties.

Therefore, if you are designated as an essential employee by your unit, the ordinance allows you to travel as necessary in Athens-Clarke County to perform your job duties. UGA employees should continue to follow direction from their units as to their designation as an essential employee. The University has no higher priority than the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students, and we encourage all members of our community to continue to follow guidance from medical professionals and health authorities.