The Fulton County (GA) Board of Health recently issued an order, effective immediately, requiring all residents of Fulton County to shelter-in-place, permitting residents to leave their homes only if providing or receiving certain essential services or engaging in essential activities or work. The order forbids the public and private gather of “any number of people occurring outside a single household . . . except for the limited purposes” in the order. Violators can be subject to misdemeanor charges and penalties and fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to 12 months in jail per offense.

The order does not change the definition of essential businesses and activities as defined in the Board’s March 24 order. That order included 28 categories of essential businesses and activities and a discretionary exception for the Fulton County District Health Director to utilize if necessary.

While the list does not come from the March 19, 2020 CISA memorandum that many other governmental entities have used to define the concept, the Fulton County order does incorporate by reference each type of business listed in the CISA memorandum. The latest order does, however, further limit the ability of businesses to engage with clients, as public gatherings and meetings of two or more strangers are now effectively banned in Georgia’s most populous county, which includes Atlanta.

Moreover, both orders from the Fulton County Board of Health make clear that residents of Fulton County may still go out to engage in activities essential to health and safety (for themselves, their family, or their pets), obtain necessary supplies, engage in outdoor activity, provided that individuals remain at least six feet from other individuals, perform work for, and obtain services from, essential businesses, care for anyone who is medically fragile, and engage in essential governmental functions.

The Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, is also scheduled to issue a state-wide shelter in place that will be in effect through at least April 13.