Augusta government will reopen slowly

CSRA News

Augusta,Ga (WJBF) – The non-essential businesses are back open, with restrictions, most of us free from shelter in place.

This is the newest new normal Augusta officials find themselves as they still urge residents to stay at home anyway.

Mayor Davis is an outspoken critic of Governor Kemp’s decision to re-open the state, but he says ready or not here it comes.

“I’ve been very clear, this entire time, I think opening has been too early, I still share those same sentiments we are here now so this is the season we have to govern,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.

This means Augusta will begin making plans to re-open the city government offices closed for six weeks, Davis saying it’s going to be a slow roll-out with May 18th the target date with new requirement for those entering the Municipal Building.

“Sanitation they’ll be able to do that downstairs and we’re going to be expecting people to wear a mask when they come into the building,” said Mayor Davis.

With the ending of shelter in place, testing to make sure people are not infected is critical.

Wednesday at Fire Station 1, on Broad Street, the fire department will be offering free tests for people who drive in or walk up the first of a series of testing at firehouses.

“Right now we are looking at about 150 being able to test we have the capability of testing 150 on Wednesday,” said Fire Chief Chris James.

Mayor Davis is urging Augusta residents to stay home, saying Augusta’s African American community faces a greater risk from covid-19

“One and four blacks with no underlying conditions have been affected by the coronavirus, 80 percent of those hospitalized in Georgia are African American,” said Davis.

The Mayor says libraries and senior centers will stay closed until June first, and public swimming pools and bars are not open until May 14th.

In Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.

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