WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF) — Several local governments are calling the shots on how they can keep people safe from the COVID-19 outbreak. Many cities and counties are implementing mandates to close non-essential businesses, and now you can put Waynesboro on that list.
“We’re doing this for the safety of the people,” explained Mayor Gregory Carswell. “It’s not because we want to impose and ticket someone. We just want you to be safe, and we are thinking about the well being of the citizens.”
Mayor Carswell says Waynesboro has gotten about six coronavirus cases. He says closing non-essential businesses in the right thing to do, as the number of cases, continues to rise. He says some of the plants and factories in town could be next. Plant Vogtle is not affected by ordinance because it falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
“We’ve gotten complaints called in from different plants, so we are going to look into the complaints and take them seriously,” said Mayor Carswell. “Some of them are not using hand sanitizer, and some are not practicing social distancing.”
Council members also shortened the curfew for anybody under 18. Now, they have to be in the house by 10 pm.
“Everything in Waynesboro is closing up around 8:30 pm, no later than 9:00 pm,” said Carswell. “There is no reason for the kids to be out past ten. It will help keep crime down, but also make sure people are safe. If people are in the house and not around other people, you’re not going to get anything you’re going to spread.
Waynesboro’s Mayor says the ordinance is needed because it will hurt the rural economy if people don’t take the pandemic seriously. His biggest fear is people from outside of Waynesboro spreading the virus to people in town.
“I believe that a lot of our cases are going to come from people coming in to visit, or others leaving Waynesboro,” explained Carswell. “They are possibly going to be around somebody who may have it, and then when they come back here, they are going to spread it.”
The ordinance will go into effect on March 31st at midnight. It will last for 15 days. Easter Service can’t happen except online. Council members did leave open the possibility of having a preacher preach in a parking lot full of spaced-out cars.