Cobb County and the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Situation
March 17, 2020
In order to consolidate information, updates, and cancellations, we have created a dedicated page to the COVID-19 Virus.
Check this page frequently for updates.
March 16, 2020
Cobb County Government Transitions Workforce to Combat Spread of COVID-19 Virus
Many publicly accessible buildings and lobbies to close, zoning meeting postponed, Sheriff’s Office response
Cobb County will transition to a “limited operational” status Wednesday that will mean many publicly-accessible buildings will be closed, except for essential employees. County services will continue and public safety will remain fully staffed.
“We need to follow the latest public health guidelines and advice on how to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Deputy County Manager Dr. Jackie McMorris said. “This action will help protect both the public and our employees by limiting the number of people in buildings and public spaces.”
The change in operational status will begin at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 18 and will remain in effect until the county manager deems it safe to end. Department managers will determine which employees are essential and which employees can work remotely. The Cobb County Board of Commissioners approved policy revisions today that will ensure payment to those employees during this time, including those sent home to telework.
During a special-called Board of Commissioners meeting Monday, Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce canceled Tuesday’s Zoning Hearing saying holding a meeting with a large group of people would send the wrong message.
Some highlights of the status change include:
- Most public lobbies will close, and departments that take payments from the public will make arrangements to accept those payments by other methods.
- Lobbies that must stay open will limit access to indoor spaces and require a six-foot buffer between employees and other patrons.
- Libraries, senior centers, and recreational facilities will remain closed throughout this period. Outdoor parks will remain accessible, and any restroom facilities at those parks will undergo cleaning at regular intervals.
- Cobb County’s administration building at 100 Cherokee St. will be closed to the public with access by essential employees only.
- Cobb County courthouses will remain open to handle essential matters to ensure due process and to protect our community.
Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren provided the following about the Sheriff’s Office response to the pandemic:
The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office continues to monitor the COVID19 situation and has developed plans to allow us to react quickly in this ever-changing atmosphere.
We are working closely with the Judicial Court Complex staff, Cobb-Douglas Public Health board, our medical provider WellStar Health System, surrounding law enforcement agencies, various state agencies including the Dept. of Public Health and others. Our focus continues to be on the health and safety of the citizens of Cobb, our employees, and their families as well as those in our custody.
Attention has been placed on the screening process of those individuals brought to our facility with a more in-depth questioning of past travels and health concerns both now and previous to their incarceration. This too is a fluid process that will change as we receive updates about the virus. We have extended our transition time between Intake and cell placement by fourteen days. We are looking closely at our visitation process and how it can be modified during this time so as to minimize the possibility of passing the virus. We are also assessing access to public lobbies and face to face access. We have set-up video conferencing for those court hearings taking place at the jail to further reduce contact and create the recommended “social distancing” in all areas whenever possible. When needed a temporary housing unit has been created for Sheriff’s Office staffing to reduce the possible transition of the virus between home and work.
Finally, the Cobb Sheriff’s Office is working closely with Judicial Staffing and other Law Enforcement Agencies regarding the processing of warrants and orders from the court, to include evictions, restraining orders and other orders in areas that might increase person-to-person contact. The Sheriff’s Office is also actively working with IS in exploring the options available to us for those with duties appropriate to work from home.
March 15, 2020
Cobb County to Close Many Public Facilities: Recreational Facilities, Libraries, and Senior Centers will not open Monday
Marietta - In the wake of public health recommendations that encourage social distancing and discourage gatherings, Cobb County officials announced Sunday that many facilities where people congregate will not open on Monday. These include senior centers, libraries, and most recreational buildings.
“Our public health partners have made it clear that increasing measures are needed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said Public Services Director William Tanks. “We thought it prudent to take this action. It is our belief that leaving these facilities open while schools are closed will defeat the purpose of impeding the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”
The closures will coincide with the school system’s plan to shut down for two weeks, but county leaders will monitor the situation and listen to public health officials before deciding when to reopen these facilities. Most outdoor parks can not be effectively closed off to the public and will remain open for use.
Other buildings, including courthouses, the County Administration building, and public safety facilities, will remain open. Superior Court Chief Judge Reuben Green issued a Judicial Emergency Order on Friday, but in a message to court staff said: “The Judicial Branch will remain open to handle essential matters to ensure due process and to protect our community.” The order halts jury trials for a 30-day period, but those with non-jury court business should contact the judge’s office for a status update.
And a list of closings and cancellations is being updated at Events cancellation and facilities closure due to coronavirus.
Cobb’s Board of Commissioners will hold a special called meeting Monday at 1:30 pm to discuss the COVID-19 situation. The meeting will take place in the BOC Meeting Room at 100 Cherokee Street, Marietta but can also be viewed on CobbTV’s streaming outlets on Facebook, YouTube, our webpage and cable TV channel.
Cobb and Douglas Public Health officials issued guidance to Cobb County religious leaders and institutions
Read it here:
Presidential Preference Primary Postponed - Early Voting Suspended
At the direction of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, the March 24 Presidential Preference Primary has been rescheduled for May 19, 2020.
Voting at all Cobb County advance voting locations is suspended immediately in consideration of the public health emergency posed by the COVID-19 virus. No further in-person voting will take place after March 14. Early in-person voting for the May Primary is scheduled to begin on April 27.
Votes already cast during this suspended advance voting period and any absentee ballots mailed back or hand-delivered by March 24, will be counted at the time of the May 19 general primary. Voters are encouraged to submit an absentee ballot application for the May 19 primary to receive a ballot by mail as soon as they become available. For more visit: cobbelections.org
Cobb's Board of Commissioners to Hold Specially-Called Meeting on COVID-19
Cobb's Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting Monday at 1:30 pm to discuss the county's response to the COVID-19 situation. This will be held in the main BOC Meeting room at 100 Cherokee St, Marietta.
March 14, 2020
The Tax Commissioner is closing the West Cobb tax office and moving operations to other facilities. Check out the following for details and alternate locations:
March 13, 2020
VIDEO UPDATE - From closed courts to canceled classes, the Covid-19 virus is effecting life in Cobb County. Watch this video to learn the latest on what the county government is doing to protect its residents.
Cobb Courts have called off trials for 30 days and limited activity in courtrooms
Almost every activity and event in Cobb Parks, Libraries, and Senior Centers have been canceled starting Monday
The Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting Monday at 1:30 pm to discuss the crisis
CobbLinc buses are running, but with special precautions and possible route changes
Federal officials have nearly 500 quarantined cruise ship passengers at Dobbins Air Reserve Base
A list of changes, closings, and cancellations is being updated regularly on the front page of cobbcounty.org
Trials halted for 30 days in Cobb Superior and State Courts
Judge Reuben Green issues an order late today declaring a "Judicial Emergency" and ordering a halt to jury trials for 30 days. That means no jurors will have to appear in the courthouse and other civil and non-judicial matters to be limited.
Solicitor General Barry Morgan issued a statement about access to his office:
Most Magistrate Court cases are also suspended, but Chief Judge Brendan Murphy says crucial court business will continue.
Judge Kelli L. Wolk issued a statement about activity in Cobb's Probate Court:
March 12, 2020
Chairman Mike Boyce has the latest on the county’s COVID-19 virus response in this rapidly-changing situation
COBB COVID-19 UPDATE - Chairman Mike Boyce has the latest on the county’s COVID-19 virus response in this rapidly-changing situation. Dr. Janet Memark with Cobb and Douglas Public Health has an update on public health’s response and the latest advice on how we should protect ourselves.
There have been multiple events canceled. Please visit cobbcounty.org or our Facebook page to follow these updates.
The Cobb County Community Hub Covid-19 site is online with information and updates
The first COVID-19 related death in Georgia was reported in Cobb County
A second plane with quarantine passengers from the California cruise ship arrived at Dobbins early this morning. There are now 242 people being quarantined here.
Vote by Mail
Do you want to vote, but you’re avoiding large groups due to health concerns? Cobb Elections can mail a ballot to your home. First, complete an absentee ballot application. Print the application, attach an image of the signed application, and send to: [email protected]
March 11, 2020
Cobb forms task force to prepare for a possible impact on county operations
Cobb School District Closes Elementary School for Two Weeks
Dear Cobb Schools Community and Staff,
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) informed us today of a positive case of Coronavirus at Kincaid Elementary School. At the direction of the DPH, and due to federal privacy laws, we are unable to share specifics about the case.
We have prioritized the health of Kincaid students and staff by deciding to close Kincaid Elementary for the next 14 days beginning on March 12th. Within 48 hours of school closure, and following DPH guidelines, Cobb staff will thoroughly clean and sanitize the entire campus, including buses. No other Cobb schools are closed at this time.
The District has planned for this scenario, and the students at Kincaid will continue receiving digital classroom content from their teachers using a variety of digital platforms and tools.
Our staff is working to keep our facilities clean, and our schools are reminding students about best practices for staying healthy including practicing good hygiene. Navigating these next days and weeks will take a team effort, but we believe that our community is well-prepared.
We will continue to follow the guidance of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the DPH on these matters. Moving forward, please know that we will be prioritizing student and staff safety in every decision that we make.
West Cobb Regional Library to Remain Closed
The West Cobb Regional Library will remain closed through the weekend. The re-opening of the library is anticipated for early next week.
124 Cruise Ship Passengers Arrive
124 passengers from a cruise ship have arrived at Dobbins ARB base to start a 14-day quarantine period. They arrived in the early morning hours of Tuesday. Most will be housed on the base, or at the nearby Clay National Guard Center.
The second flight of passengers from the cruise ship is expected to land at Dobbins ARB either late Wednesday or early Thursday. This flight will include some passengers from Cobb County and the state of Georgia.
March SPLOST Open Houses Canceled
Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce has canceled the remaining SPLOST Renewal Open Houses for the month of March amid concerns over large crowds and the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The six scheduled events this month will not take place, but 11 other dates in April and early May will remain on the schedule.
Boyce considered this a prudent move based on concerns of residents and the desire to help staff focus primarily on protecting our community by handling other issues as they develop.
For example, West Cobb Regional Library, which remains closed as county officials attempt to contract with a cleaning company to do a deep clean of the facility. The library system closed that regional library after a worker came into contact with a person who had contact with a COVID-19 patient. The worker has not been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus and is said to be feeling fine.
The county has also issued travel guidelines for employees, ordered a deep cleaning of senior centers each weekend, and established a task force that meets daily to manage issues associated with this rapidly-evolving situation.
Chairman Boyce also said the county remains poised to assist the quarantine situation at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. The US Department of Health and Human Services welcomed 124 passengers off a California-based cruise ship. Most of those passengers will finish a 14-day quarantine period at Dobbins. A second flight with more passengers is expected to arrive in the near future.
March 10, 2020
Planes Carrying Cruise Ship Passengers Arrive at Dobbins ARB
The first of two planes carrying people off the cruise ship Grand Princess is expected to arrive at Dobbins ARB this evening (Tuesday). More than 250 passengers are expected to come into Dobbins to be screened by the US Department of Health and Human Services personnel. Most will serve out their 14-day quarantine period on the base, while some who live nearby may be allowed to self-quarantine at home. Some of the passengers on the Grand Princess came down with the COVID-19 virus, but the passengers coming to Dobbins have not displayed symptoms nor tested positive for the virus.
The DHHS is handling the quarantine effort, but Cobb County has volunteered any assistance needed.
Wednesday’s SPLOST Renewal Open House scheduled for the West Cobb Library has been canceled.
The library system closed the West Cobb Library Tuesday for deep cleaning after discovering a worker had a possible exposure to a COVID-19 patient.
The worker has not been diagnosed with the virus but under an abundance of caution the worker was sent home and a cleaning company has been contracted to work on the facility. We do not know how long that cleaning will take.
In addition, county staff has been enacting pro-active cleaning and sanitizing measures at other county facilities and the county has established a task force to deal with other issues surrounding this virus and its effect on county operations.
Tuesday night’s scheduled SPLOST Open House in Acworth will go on as scheduled.
March 9, 2020
Chairman Mike Boyce and Cobb Contingent Attends Dobbins ARB Briefing
VIDEO - Chairman Mike Boyce and a large Cobb contingent attended a briefing at Dobbins ARB where they are preparing to quarantine dozens of cruise ship passengers.
March 8, 2020
Mike Boyce Meets with Public Health, Public Safety, and County Administrators
VIDEO - Chairman Mike Boyce met with public health, public safety, and county administrators early this morning after receiving word that some of the quarantined passengers on a cruise ship will be coming to Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
These passengers, mostly from Georgia, have NOT tested positive for the COVID-19 virus but will be tested during the remainder of their quarantine at the airbase.
There is a state Public Health hotline on the COVID-19 Virus you can contact at 866-782-4584.
Kemp: Grand Princess Cruise Ship Passengers Headed to Dobbins Air Reserve Base
Atlanta, GA – Following federal briefings late Saturday evening, Governor Brian P. Kemp issued the following statement:
"I have learned that thirty-four Georgians and additional American citizens from the eastern United States who are currently on the Grand Princess cruise ship off the California coast will be securely transferred to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. These passengers will undergo testing and be quarantined for possible exposure to COVID-19. They are expected to arrive at Dobbins late Monday, March 9 or early Tuesday, March 10.
"I am confident that Dobbins is equipped to provide high-quality care for Americans in need while keeping Georgia families safe, and our state stands ready to assist our federal partners if requested. In the days and weeks ahead, I encourage Georgians to pray for the patients affected by COVID-19 and their healthcare providers. We must continue to support one another, trust the advice of the medical community, and remain vigilant.
"My office remains in constant communication with the Trump administration, lawmakers, and state and local officials to ensure the health and safety of families across Georgia and our country. We will continue to provide updates as soon as they become available."
March 7, 2020
State Department of Public Health officials confirms more cases of COVID-19 in Georgia, including one in Cobb County.
March 4, 2020
Cobb County officials Staying in Close Contact with Cobb & Douglas Public Health Department
Cobb County officials are staying in close contact with our colleagues at the Cobb & Douglas Public Health Department while watching the COVID-19 virus situation. Frequent meetings and teleconferences keep everyone on the same page when it comes to developments, responses, and potential advice.
The GA Department of Public Health has put out a good informational packet which you can download.
This is an evolving situation and you can take action to make sure you are well-informed and take the appropriate measures.
Ross Cavitt | Cobb County Communications | [email protected]