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Alpharetta Adopts Emergency Shelter-In-Home Ordinance

Released April 02, 2020 10:59 AM

In its continuing efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Alpharetta has adopted an emergency ordinance that directs all residents to shelter in home, directs some residents to isolate and quarantine, prohibits all non-essential travel, prohibits all gatherings of 10 or more people, closes all City facilities, closes or modifies the operations of certain businesses, and provides for small business assistance.  The ordinance also authorizes penalties of up to $1,000 and jail time for those who violate it.

The City took the action on April 1 following the issuance by the Fulton County Department of Health of a shelter-in-home order and just hours after Governor Brian Kemp announced he would issue a state-wide order later in the week.

Under the City of Alpharetta’s shelter-in-home ordinance, which is in effect through April 30, citizens can continue to travel as needed to perform essential functions such as going to a grocery store, appointments with doctors, and even going for a walk to maintain their health.  Restaurants can also continue to provide drive-thru and curbside pickup services but cannot allow in-person or on-premises dining.

“For residents, this new emergency ordinance is not a departure from what we have been asking everyone to do and what has been recommended for a while by federal, state, and county public health agencies,” said Alpharetta Mayor Jim Gilvin.  “Unfortunately, while most citizens were following that guidance and taking proactive measures to practice social distancing and slow the spread of COVID-19, others were not taking the situation seriously and were putting everyone at risk by not following the recommended measures.  This ordinance makes more of the commonsense measures mandatory and defines penalties for violating the ordinance.”

In addition to extending to April 30 the closure of all City facilities, the new emergency ordinance requires the closure of most non-essential businesses including gyms, fitness centers, spas, nail salons, hair salons, event facilities, and others that require direct human contact or that tend to involve crowding or assembling in close spaces where it is difficult or impossible to practice social distancing.

A laundry list of businesses are identified in the ordinance as being essential and may continue to operate.  These include healthcare facilities, grocery stores, gas stations, automobile repair shops, banks, plumbers and electricians, veterinary care facilities, and childcare facilities, among others.

Residents and business owners are strongly encouraged to read the ordinance for a full understanding of what is and is not allowed and what businesses are identified as essential or non-essential.

The emergency ordinance can be read, in its entirety at  The City is also preparing a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the ordinance and will post it on its COVID-19 webpage,

The COVID-19 response webpage includes a considerable amount of information and provides a link to an online form that residents can use to report suspected violations of the emergency ordinance.  Information submitted using the form will be delivered to the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety for investigation and follow-up by Alpharetta police officers or other appropriate City staff.