Richmond County’s Sheriff explains how shelter-in-place ordinance will be enforced


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s quiet in Augusta and that’s a good thing. Ten days of solitude are here. Georgia’s shelter-in-place order went into effect at 6 p.m. Friday, April 3.

“We have to understand that no one most likely in this lifetime has gone through something like this so it’s new for everybody. It’s new for this administration. New for this county, new for this country,” said Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree.

Police work has not stopped for Richmond County during this coronavirus pandemic. Many concerned people have been calling the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office about COVID-19.

Sheriff Roundtree explained, “The main thing is, we’re a law enforcement entity but we don’t want to have to use that element of this executive order at all. We want to devote those resources to save lives.”

Sheriff Roundtree confirmed that you do not need ‘traveling papers’ to go anywhere but only travel if it’s absolutely necessary. And try to take nobody with you. Right now, a curfew is not going to be enforced in Richmond County. The borders will remain open. They are not going to be closed or blocked by law enforcement.

“Most times you can make yourself more ill or anxiety-ridden by listening to the rumors. Social media is an excellent tool but it’s not always an accurate tool,” said Sheriff Roundtree.

Many businesses will remain closed but grocery stores, banks, pharmacies and gas stations will remain open. The social distancing rules of six feet and no groups of 10 or more are punishable by law under the ordinance. If you’re caught breaking the shelter-in-place ordinance and you comply, you’ll have little to worry about. 

Sheriff Roundtree added, “Every time we can stay home, the people we can keep off the street, the people we can keep from gathering in large groups, you can be potentially saving lives every time you take that step. So I know it’s a sacrifice, I know it’s an interruption of life. But again, that is a small price to pay maybe to save not just your life, but maybe the lives of your loved ones.”

Of course, Gov. Kemp’s shelter-in-place ordinance trumps all local-CSRA ordinances.

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