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BOC to discuss Emergency Disaster Declaration via teleconference Wednesday
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COVINGTON, Ga. — The Newton County Board of Commissioners announced they will be holding an emergency meeting via teleconference the evening of Wednesday, March 25, at 6 p.m. to discuss an Emergency Disaster Declaration.

This meeting will be open to the public via call-in at 646-876-9923. For those calling in, the Meeting ID is 752 104 945.

Newton County commissioners held an emergency meeting via teleconference for the same purpose Monday at 7 p.m. Following an hour of discussion, the commissioners agreed to draft a declaration with strong wording that will convey the urgency of the situation, as well as the necessity to shelter in place and practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Prior to the agreement, the commissioners spoke about passing a declaration similar to the one issued by the city of Covington last week. Covington requested a voluntary shelter in place with a voluntary curfew of 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. and also prohibited gatherings of 10 or more people.

While the commissioners were in agreement that making a similar declaration is the right move, District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz insisted Newton County send a strong and concise message about the urgent need to shelter in place.

“Whereas I would very much like to agree that we need to enact some type of voluntary stay at home, we need to be very clear that every business, every individual needs to remain at home for the next two weeks,” Schulz said, “or there will be a substantial impact on our healthcare system from which we may not be able to recover.”

Chairman Marcello Banes said Monday night he and County Manager Lloyd Kerr would get in touch with Dr. Audrey Arona — the district health director and CEO of Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments — and Covington Mayor Steve Horton for discussion and input prior to drafting a new declaration.