UNION CITY, Ga. - Governor Kemp's shelter in place is in effect statewide as of 6 p.m. Friday.
People are required to stay in their homes unless they're are taking part in an essential activity.
Battalion Chief Dennis Moore with the Union City Fire Department is asking everyone to follow this order.
Moore has 31 years under his belt as a first responder. He has seen the SARS and Ebola outbreaks and says the coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything he's seen.
"The newness of this disease, the unknowns that go along with a new disease, and the volume of patients and depletion of supplies, that's what has got everyone worried at this point," Moore said.
The Union City Fire Department has now changed the way to respond to calls.
The City has also approved supplemental pay for some in the department.
"We're only sending a crew of two to any suspected respiratory issues as opposed to a fire engine with four," Moore said.
Moore said the department is also changing how they interact with the loved ones. Each person has come up with their own plan to keep their family safe from possible exposure.
For Battalion Chief Dennis Moore, that means completely separating himself from his family. He's currently on day 13.
"People say this is what we signed up for. Not necessarily. We signed up to take care of sick people but we didn't sign up to have something that we can take home to our families," Moore said.
According to Governor Kemp's executive order, people should only leave their homes for essential activities.
Those activities include:
- Picking up food and medical supplies
- Grocery shopping
- Medical services
- Exercising outdoors. Social distancing rules apply.
Places like fitness centers, bars, theaters, beauty shops/barbershop, and live performance venues will be closed to the public.
Any local order will be replaced with the statewide order.
Moore said it's important for everyone to understand what the rules are and why it's so crucial for people to follow the rules.
"Shelter in place is exactly what it sounds like. You stay home. If you don't live with them, you don't visit them. That's the message that doesn't seem to be getting across," Moore said. "Just say home. I know you're bored. I know you've run out of things to do. If we can keep it contained for two weeks. The hope is we can put a big dent in this and cut down on transmission."
Best prevention measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty 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.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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