Conyers Offices Reopen to Public on May 18, 2020
City of Conyers officials and staff have determined that city offices will reopen to the public on Monday, May 18, after reviewing information provided by the Georgia Department of Health and seeing a positive trend in the decline of cases of COVID-19 locally.
The city has taken measures to protect citizens and employees doing business in city facilities with the installation of plexiglass shields at all customer service counters. Signage encouraging social distancing when visiting city facilities, as well as the distribution of personal protection equipment including disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers throughout the buildings on campus are in place to ease any concerns citizens and employees may have. Customers may wear masks if they so choose when interacting with city employees, but wearing masks is not mandatory.
“Citizens not comfortable visiting city offices to do business may continue to use our online resources at conyersga.com, by mail, or by using the convenient drop boxes at various departments for payments,” said City Manager Tony Lucas.
Conyers Municipal Court is suspended through June 12 and will resume on June 15. Citizens submitting special event permits will continue to be evaluated by Conyers Police personnel on a case-by-case basis.
“To date, none of our employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and we are thankful,” said Lucas. “The mayor and council deserve recognition for taking steps early on with implementing work-from-home procedures for staff and employees and placing limitations on businesses to stop the spread of COVID-19. Now it’s time to get back to work in a safe environment with all staff present, ready and eager to serve our citizens.”
Governor Kemp's Executive Order "Reviving a Healthy Georgia" (5.12.2020)
The May 12, 2020 Executive Order establishes guidelines for summer day camps, extends the closure of live performance venues, bars and nightclubs through May 31 and gives more allowances for restaurants. Local governments are not permitted to be more or less restrictive than this Order.
Georgia COVID-19 Emotional Support Line (4.28.2020)
The Georgia COVID-19 Emotional Support Line offers 24/7 free and confidential assistance to those needing emotional support or resources as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the link below for more information on this and other agencies offering assistance. The support line number is 866-399-8938.
Health Department Offers COVID-19 Drive-through Testing on May 1 at Georgia International Horse Park (4.27.2020)
On Friday, May 1, Gwinnett, Newton & Rockdale County Health Departments will return to the Georgia International Horse Park and open a large appointment-only COVID-19 test site for one day. The Health Department first piloted larger-scale testing on April 16. Appointments are available by calling 770-513-5631 for anyone who thinks they may be ill with COVID-19. Testing is also available, regardless of whether individuals currently have symptoms, to healthcare workers, first responders, and other critical infrastructure workers exposed to COVID-19, or residents of a long-term care facilities or other group residential settings experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19.
While the Health Department requires a scheduled appointment to test individuals, referral from a doctor is not necessary. This testing site is currently set to operate for one day; however, the Health Department offers testing at other locations in Lawrenceville and in Covington, Monday through Saturday. Individuals seeking a test do not need to be a resident of the three counties.
A medical provider collects a nasal swab while the individual remains in his or her vehicle. Test results will be available 48-72 hours after the swab is collected. Health Department staff call individuals who receive a positive result; however, all individuals tested can retrieve their test results via the LabCorp patient portal. Instructions are provided before individuals leave the testing location.
To ensure enough test kits are available during the event, the Health Department will only test individuals with a scheduled appointment. Individuals that meet testing criteria should call 770-513-5631 to schedule a time for their appointment. Transportation to and from all testing sites is required.
More information is available on the Health Department’s website at www.gnrhealth.com/covid-19-info. Additional information about COVID-19 can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov and www.cdc.gov/covid-19.
Governor Kemp's Executive Order "Reviving a Healthy Georgia" (4.23.2020)
The April 23, 2020 Executive Order guides the state through May 13, 2020, and specifies how businesses allowed to operate are able to do so safely. Local governments are not permitted to be more or less restrictive than this Order.
Resources for Businesses Affected by COVID-19 (4.21.2020)
Small Business Administration
Local businesses are feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recovery assistance is being provided through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) thanks to emergency funds made available by Congress. Assistance is for businesses with less than 500 employees to assist with payroll and maintaining employees. Resources can be activated in the form of loans by contacting the Small Business Administration.
For more information, check out the following websites and contact information for assistance:
SBA contact number: 1-800-659-2955
Georgia SBA email: Georgia@sba.gov
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation offers the Save Small Business Fund. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the Chamber Foundation will distribute $5,000 grants to small employers in the U.S. and its territories.
- Eligibility requirements includes:
- Eligible Zip Codes in Conyers: 30012, 30013 and 30094
The Save Small Business Fund is part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Save Small Business Initiative—a nationwide effort to address small business owners’ immediate needs, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize the long-term support the small business community needs for recovery. Grant applications will be available beginning April 20, 2020.
University of Georgia Small Business Development Center
On April 2, Governor Kemp announced a partnership between the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the Georgia Department of Economic Development to provide the small businesses of Georgia with vital information and assistance during this time of need. The GDEcD page includes information to assist those involved in the arts, automotive, film, international consular services, small businesses and nonprofits.
Red Backpack Fund
The Red Backpack Fund will be making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. Each month they will accept additional applications. The portal will open for applications on May 4, June 1 July 6, and Aug. 3.
Eligible applicants include majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits with annual revenues less than $5 million, with between 1 and 50 employees.
eBay "Up & Running" Small Business Accelerator Program
eBay is pledging $100 million to help brick-and-mortar small businesses move their goods and services online through their "Up & Running" accelerator program. The offer includes a free basic eBay store for three months and waiving selling fees for up to 500 sold items.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
This new program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance by the Georgia Department of Labor, provides unemployment benefits to those who would not typically receive them. Includes individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who do not quality for state unemployment benefits.
Georgia Restaurant Association
The Georgia Restaurant Association offers advice and assistance for restaurant owners/operators and restaurant workers.
Nextdoor: Small Business Guide for Coronavirus Relief
Nextdoor, the popular application for connecting neighbors, offers key advice to businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 Updates for Conyers
Health Department Opens Drive-Through Testing at GIHP - (4.13.2020)
On Thursday, April 16, Gwinnett, Newton & Rockdale County Health Departments will open a large drive-through COVID-19 test site at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. Due to increased testing capacity, up to 300 appointments are now being scheduled for anyone who thinks they may be ill with COVID-19. While the Health Department requires a scheduled appointment to test individuals, referral from a doctor is not necessary.
“We look forward to piloting this large-scale test site,” said Dr. Audrey Arona, district health director and CEO of Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments. “This is a fantastic collaboration between Rockdale and Newton County Governments, their EMAs, and the Health Department. Testing will provide individuals in the community an opportunity to learn if their illness is consistent with the COVID-19 virus, and it will help us improve our plans for providing large-scale testing.”
Since the Health Department first started testing on March 17, over 1,100 have been tested. Initially, testing was only available to first responders, elderly individuals with chronic medical conditions as well as their cargivers, and individuals living or working in a congregate setting (i.e. nursing homes, long-term care facilities, etc). Now that laboratory capacity to process the tests has increased, the Health Department is opening testing to any sick individual in the general public who thinks they may be ill with COVID-19.
To ensure enough test kits are available, the Health Department will only test individuals that have a scheduled appointment. Interested individuals should call 770-513-5631 to find out if they’re eligible and to schedule a time for their appointment. Transportation to and from the testing site is required.
A medical provider will collect a nasal swab while the individual remains in his or her vehicle. Test results will be available around 48 hours after the swab is collected. Health Department staff will call individuals who receive a positive result; however, all individuals tested can retrieve their test results via the LapCorp patient portal. Instructions will be provided before individuals leave the testing location.
More information is available on the Health Department’s website at www.gnrhealth.com/covid-19-info. Additional information about COVID-19 can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov and www.cdc.gov/covid-19.
Governor Brian Kemp Issues Executive Order (Shelter in Place) - (4.2.2020)
Download a copy of Governor Kemp's Executive Order issuing a shelter in place directive for all residents in Georgia effective at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020 through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2020.
Download a copy of the Statewide Sheltering in Place Handout for answers to commonly asked questions.
Conyers City Council Orders Shelter in Place, Closure of Non-Essential Businesses and Prohibits Gatherings - (3.25.2020)
The Conyers Mayor and City Council met in an emergency meeting on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and passed an ordinance ordering an emergency shelter in place among residents, which outlines specifics on what it means to shelter in place, closing non-essential businesses and prohibiting public gatherings in the city limits of Conyers. This ordinance builds upon the Council’s previous declaration of a state of emergency and passage of an ordinance restricting restaurants to curbside, delivery or take-out only, sale of beer and wine for restaurants offering take-out consumption off-premises, and closure of entertainment establishments.
The city’s shelter in place order and new restrictions call for the following to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19):
- All residents in the city limits are ordered to stay at their place of residence. Residents may leave their residences only for essential activities, essential government functions or to operate essential businesses.
- Essential activities include obtaining medical supplies or medication; visiting a health care professional or obtaining supplies needed to work from home; obtaining necessary supplies, such as groceries, and/or delivering to others; engaging in outdoor activities while maintaining social distancing requirements; performing work at an essential business; or to care for family members or pets in another household.
- Essential businesses include healthcare, infrastructure, grocery stores, gas stations, automotive repair and supply, hardware stores, banks, restaurants (delivery or curbside only), and childcare facilities. For a full list, visit conyersga.com.
- Essential businesses remaining open must post signage on entrance doors advising customers to maintain at least six (6) feet of personal distance between themselves and others.
The restrictions enacted in the ordinance will take effect beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020 and end at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, unless extended by the Conyers City Council.
“The shelter in place order was enacted after a considerable amount of thought, reflection and review of a great deal of information provided by local, state and federal health officials,” said Mayor Vince Evans. “This ordinance is necessary to help flatten the curve and reduce the potential for overwhelming our local healthcare resources, and always top of mind is to protect the health and welfare of our citizens.”
Since the passage of the shelter in place ordinance, the city has learned Rockdale County Government is expected to pass a similar ordinance regarding a shelter in place order for county residents.
For more information, visit conyersga.com or follow the city’s social media accounts.
City Council Restricts Restaurants to Take-Out, Curbside and Delivery, Restricts Entertainment Establishments - (3.20.2020)
The Conyers Mayor and City Council met in an emergency meeting on Friday, March 20 and unanimously passed an ordinance restricting restaurants to take out or delivery of food only, closing certain entertainment businesses in which public health could be compromised, and allowing restaurants licensed to sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption to sell beer or wine for take-out consumption off-premises.
The Conyers City Council approved a resolution declaring a state of emergency at its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, March 18. Based on information provided from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and local authorities, the council is taking further action in the hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The city’s state of emergency and new restrictions call for the following:
- All bars, restaurants, or businesses who sell food or beverages for consumption on premises or who provide entertainment on premises shall be closed to in-person dining, consumption of alcohol, or entertainment until the expiration of the ordinance on April 13, 2020.
- Bars, restaurants and other businesses who sell food may offer food for customers to eat somewhere other than at the establishment, i.e. curbside service or delivery.
- If a restaurant is licensed to sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption, such business for the duration of the ordinance only (through April 13, 2020) shall be authorized to sell beer or wine for take-out consumption off-premises with the purchase of food.
- The following businesses shall be closed through April 13, 2020: bars and nightclubs, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys, arcades and private social clubs.
- The City Council and all other boards, commissions or agencies of the city shall have the authority to conduct meetings and take votes by teleconference.
The restrictions enacted in the ordinance will take effect beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020 and end on April 13, 2020, unless terminated or extended by the Conyers City Council. For more information, visit conyersga.com or follow the city’s social media accounts.
Conyers Alters Operations due to COVID-19 - (3.13.2020)
City of Conyers officials have enacted an action plan for its departments related to the COVID-19 virus.
The city will utilize all resources at its disposal to ensure normal operations and services continue for citizens without interruption as long as possible.
Essential employees for the city of Conyers will continue to report to work in an effort to minimize any disruption in services. As the situation develops, the city will determine the best course of action to continue providing services while protecting the public and governmental employees.
Conyers Police Department: Court, Probation, Fines, Citations, RASS Classes
Public safety services remains the city’s top priority and residents can expect to continue receiving the highest level of services from Conyers Police. Municipal court will be suspended for 30 days (through April 15), as will community service workers for the next 30 days (through April 15). Update on 5/6/2020 - Municipal court is suspended through June 12, 2020, as are community service workers.
Individuals serving probation can make payments online at conyersga.com or via the drop box located in the Conyers Police Department lobby at 1194 Scott Street. Those serving probation may also call in, rather than reporting to their probation officers through April 15, 2020. Update on 5/6/2020 - Call-in for those on probation has been extended through June 12, 2020.
Citizens submitting special event permits will be evaluated by Conyers Police personnel on a case-by-case basis.
The Conyers Police Department is cancelling the April RASS training and will contact everyone when the course will resume in a safe manner. It is also been determined that the time associated with permits will be frozen as of this date. In essence, you will not be considered delinquent in renewing or obtaining a RASS Certificate for your permit. Everyone will be contacted when this moratorium has been lifted and everyone in need of the course will be notified as such.
Planning and Inspections
The city’s Planning and Inspections office will not accept cash payments until further notice. Payment (by checks, money order or credit card number) is encouraged by mail or utilizing the drop box located outside of the Human Resources and Finance Departments. Individuals submitting permits with payment may also mail or drop off in the designated drop box.
Business license applications can be downloaded via conyersga.com (Permits and Forms tab) and submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off completed applications in the drop box at 1174 Scott Street. The $50 application fee can be paid via check or over the phone with credit or debit card plus a 3% processing fee.
Sign permit applications can be submitted to email@example.com or dropped off in the drop box at 1174 Scott Street. Once they have been processed, the customer will be contacted to mail a check or pay via phone with a credit card or debit card plus the 3% processing fee. Questions? Call 770-929-4280.
Development/business permit applications, plans and plan review fee can be submitted by mailing to 1174 Scott Street, Conyers, GA 30012 or dropping them off in the lobby area of the Planning and Inspections building with a check attached made payable to the City of Conyers. Questions or follow-up on permits or plans should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 770-929-4280.
Electrical, plumbing and HVAC permits can be submitted via email to email@example.com or by mail to 1174 Scott Street, Conyers, GA 30012. Payment can be made with a check attached to the application or over the phone with a credit card or debit card plus a 3% processing fee.
Taxes, Commercial Sanitation and Conyers Security Alert
The city’s Finance Department will not accept cash payments until further notice. Citizens desiring to conduct other business with the city (making tax payments, commercial sanitation payments, etc.), are encouraged to do so via the city’s website, conyersga.com, mail payments by check, money order or credit card, or utilize the drop box located outside of the Human Resources and Finance Departments. Customers may also call 770-929-4294 or 770-483-4411 to make payments over the phone or for further assistance. Receipts for payments by phone will be mailed to customers. No payments will be accepted in the front lobby of City Hall.
Georgia International Horse Park
The Georgia International Horse Park is closed to organized events effective March 18 through May 24. The Georgia International Horse Park’s trails system will remain open for passive recreation to individuals, organized group use of the trail system is not permitted.
The venue will be thoroughly cleaned during this closure. Staff members will be working on an alternating basis to limit human-to-human contact among our team members.
Horse Park staff is currently working with many promoters and event producers to reschedule events, and will provide regular updates as quickly as possible. The most up-to-date status of events will be listed on the Calendar of Events on the venue website at www.georgiahorsepark.com. The Conyers City Council, city officials and Horse Park management will reevaluate the current status of the coronavirus outbreak as needed regarding the need for further closings. Update - The GIHP remains closed to organized events through May 24, 2020.
Cherokee Run Golf Club
The dining room and pro shop are closed and events and tournaments during this time frame are canceled or postponed. For more information on tee times, call 770-785-7904. Update: The dining room at Cherokee Run reopened on May 6, 2020 with appropriately distanced table seating and sanitation/cleaning procedures in place.
“The city is serious about protecting its employees and customers,” said City Manager Tony Lucas. “These are our efforts to limit the contact city employees have with the general public in order to minimize the risk of the spread of the flu, other illnesses and COVID-19, should it present itself. We encourage our employees to take precautions when necessary to protect themselves and encourage our citizens to limit their exposure to our employees so that they have the best chance of remaining healthy and on the job to serve the citizens of Conyers.”
As recommended by the World Health Organization, all are urged to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and maintain social distancing.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If an individual thinks they may have contracted COVID-19, they are urged to contact their primary care physician, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) or the Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale Department of Public Health’s website (www.gnrhealth.com) first. If individuals still have questions, they can contact the GNR DPH at 770-339-4260.
Conyers officials continue to take steps to prepare our community during this time. Please continue to monitor the local news media, conyersga.com, and the city’s social media channels for additional information.