Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian Whiteside’s office is taking its role in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, seriously.
The Gwinnett County Solicitor General’s Office announced Sunday it will prosecute all individuals who violate the stay-at-home order issued by Gwinnett County Chairman Charlotte Nash and all 16 cities within Gwinnett County.
Georgia law compels law enforcement to enforce orders implemented by the chairman of the board of commissioners during a declared emergency with penalties. A spokesperson with the solicitor’s office said any individual who violates the stay-at-home order will be charged with a misdemeanor and could receive a sentence of 60 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine upon conviction.
“Individuals who would endanger the public with a reckless disregard for the health and safety of others will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” a statement form the Solicitor General’s Office said. “The Solicitor General’s Office will continue its efforts to ensure that Gwinnett County residents are safe and secure through aggressive and innovative prosecution.
“We understand that these are uncertain and unprecedented times, but by working together and following the recommendation of our local, state and federal officials, we can overcome this challenge. We would like to thank everyone for their effort and cooperation during this unprecedented time.”
The stay-at-home order, issued Friday, is effective in all unincorporated areas of Gwinnett County and 16 city limits through April 13 unless otherwise extended or rescinded. Nash signed an order to institute a local state of emergency, activating emergency powers, on March 16.
The Centers for Disease Control has indicated there is evidence of widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Gwinnett County, which currently has the fifth most confirmed cases of the disease of any county in Georgia. Sunday evening’s most recent numbers cited 145 cases and one death related to COVID-19 in Gwinnett County.
The stay-at-home order stated that continued spread of COVID-19 in Gwinnett County could greatly strain local governments that provide essential services in mitigating the spread of the virus.