Augusta leaders considering additional steps, such as curfew, to flatten coronavirus curve

Friday, March 20, 2020
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

Augusta city leaders are considering more measures to help "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta city leaders are considering additional steps to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Those changes are being considered in about two weeks. That particular period matters because that’s around the time Augusta plans to revisit and update the state of emergency declaration.

“If we were to implement a curfew, we have some general idea of what that timeline will look like so that we can get people off the streets,” Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. said.

Nationally, the talk is to flatten the curve, but here locally, officials are not exactly sure how our cases are curving. They are still waiting on the increased ability of testing to know.

But, in anticipation of high numbers, curfews or orders to stay inside may be coming.

“It’s certainly something that we’re giving strong consideration to,” Davis said.

They are already local guidelines in place for social distancing. eEven all of the city’s facilities are closed to the public, but Davis says there are places where people seem to ignore the recommendations.

“Entities that are still operational late into the evening where you got 200-300 people there, Davis said. “We want to make sure that stops today in advance of us having to take action”

Davis says should people not follow current guidelines or an executive order, then it’ll be up to the city to step in.

“It’s just us simply taking those steps,” Davis said.

“But we’re trying to to give people the opportunity to just comply with federal guidelines that are being sent down to us.”

Officials tell us they’re not ready to say how early or late the curfew would be or a specific date of a local shut down.

While changes are bound in our future, Augusta leaders want the present to be about the efforts of testing to know how to move forward with any local legislation.

Davis told us they'll get a report on the numbers next week, which are likely to rise exponentially. But he said he doesn't want us to think that's because of a rapid spread. It'll be because by then Augusta will be able to test more. His final message to residents is to please stay home this weekend even though you may be tempted to go out.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.