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Association of County Commissioners of Georgia supports ‘home rule’ approach to COVID-19

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Association of County Commissioners of Georgia supports ‘home rule’ approach to COVID-19

A map of DeKalb County.
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Atlanta, GA – While the Georgia Municipal Association is urging all leaders in Georgia’s 538 cities to declare public health emergencies in response to COVID-19, the state’s association of county commissioners has a different view.

The Association of County Commissioners of Georgia released a statement supporting a “home rule” approach to the pandemic.

“Georgia’s counties range in population from over one million to less than 2,000, with 120 counties having a population of less than 50,000,” ACCG Executive Director Dave Wills said in a press release.

He said ACCG supports “home rule,” giving local control to county governments when responding to the pandemic.

“County officials know their communities, understand the concerns of their constituents and are well-positioned to make informed decisions in consultation with their local public health and emergency management officials,” he said.

The statement came a day after Gov. Brian Kemp declined to order a statewide shutdown to stop the spread of COVID-19. Without such an order in place, different jurisdictions have adopted different rules for combatting the spread of the virus.

Only 70 out of Georgia’s 159 counties have declared a local state of emergency. DeKalb County is one of them. The county prohibited all public gatherings of 10 or more people and asked all individuals to shelter in place as much as possible. For more details on the county’s declaration, click here.

“Counties are working to follow and enforce the Executive Orders issued by Governor Brian Kemp,” the ACCG said. “In addition, ACCG is providing information daily to county elected and appointed officials to keep them apprised of the myriad issues, ranging from containing the spread of COVID-19 to ensuring that vital governmental services are provided.”

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