Yesterday, Governor Kemp signed a statewide shelter-in-place order. The order goes into effect ‪at 6 p.m. today, Friday, April 3, 2020, and will expire ‪at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2020. This preempts previously issued orders by cities and counties.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development is authorized to issue guidance to any business, corporation, organization, or industry trade group regarding its status as Critical Infrastructure.

The full order and a shelter-in-place handout can be found on our website at decaturga.com/covid19.


The Office of the Governor, Brian Kemp Constituent Services: ‪404-656-1776
Georgia Department of Economic Development‪: 404-962-4000  For Hearing Impaired: 800-255-0056

For Parents of rising 2020-21 Kindergarteners, you can find various Afterschool options for Kindergarteners for the 2020-21 school year on the www.csdecatur.net website under Families > Resources > After School and Camps.

The City of Decatur offers the Animal Crackers program at all K-2nd schools. Enrollment for incoming Kindergarteners is done through a lottery process which opened February 18 and closes April 17, 2020 at 6 pm. The lottery spin will be run April 24, 2020. Full details on how to register for the Afterschool lottery are posted on the City of Decatur website at www.decaturga.com/cys on the Afterschool Lottery 2020-21 tab. Contact Children and Youth Services for more information at cys@decaturga.com or 404-378-1082.

Today is Census Day!

The U.S. Census Bureau has been working for more than a decade on the 2020 Census, and today is an important day: April 1 — Census Day — the reference day for the 2020 Census. (FYI, it is not a deadline for responding.)

If you have not taken the time to respond, now’s your chance to count everyone living in your home as of April 1. Go online, mail back your form or call in your response. For more information, visit 2020census.gov.

Curious to know how the City of Decatur or your childhood hometown are doing in terms of responding? Check out the response rate map on the Census website. As of March 30, the City’s overall response rate was 44.5%. Help us reach our goal of 90% by responding as soon as you are able.

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Stay at Home Graphic

Effective immediately, lawn maintenance services will be categorized as an Essential Business for the purpose of the current ‘Stay at Home’ order if they meet the following conditions:

  • No beautification services such as flower plantings
  • Social distancing is required at all times
  • Grass clippings may not be placed at the curb

For a full list of essential businesses, visit decaturga.com/covid19.  All businesses that remain open need to allow employees to travel to and from work safely, practice a six foot separation during work and have adequate access to hand-washing and personal protective equipment as necessary.

The April test of the Tornado Outdoor Warning Siren System will happen tomorrow, April 1st at 5 p.m. The test should last approximately one minute. Should the weather become inclement, the test will be postponed until Thursday, April 2nd.

If you have questions or want more information about the siren system, check out the Siren page on the City’s website or contact Police Lt. Barry Woodward at 404-373-6551.


Now is a good time to register and/or update your profile. Decatur implemented the national safety database Smart911 to improve 911 services for residents and business owners. Smart911 allows residents to create a safety profile of vital personal and household data, including household members, photos, medications or medical conditions and even pets, which will be displayed to 911 call takers immediately when a resident places an emergency call.

Currently, Smart911 Profile and Alert registrants will be asked two additional questions regarding their quarantine and health status. This information will be presented to 9-1-1 call-takers with an inbound call and public health/emergency management officials will be able to actively query and notify individuals in their community who are at risk or under quarantine.

Smart911 is a free service available to all residents and business owners and is private and secure. Safety profiles can be created through the Smart911 website.

Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett issued an emergency order on March 27, 2020 that extends the grace period for paying the first installment of Decatur 2020 property taxes to July 15, 2020. Tax bills will be mailed the week of March 30 and due June 1, 2020. With the extended grace period, no penalties and interest will be applied if the principal is paid by July 15, 2020.

Mayor Garrett stated, “We know families and businesses are struggling financially while also being concerned about their health and the health of their loved ones. This extension will provide property owners some extra time to make this payment.”

The City is assessing the consequence of the public health emergency on its finances and will be developing a budget that reflects the anticipated impacts while continuing to maintain quality services including police and fire protection, emergency management, and sanitation services. Property taxes also support our local school system.

City staff are ready to assist residents and property owners, to answer questions and to help provide the community support needed to weather this crisis.

View a copy of the order here.

Every other year for the past 14 years, the City of Decatur has surveyed its residents through the National Research Center (NRC.) Beginning today, the NRC is sending out a postcard notification announcing the 2020 survey to a random sample of Decatur residents. If you don’t receive a postcard in the coming days, you are not one of the 1,700 households randomly chosen this time.

With the COVID-19 pandemic weighing heavily in our lives, it can be hard to focus on anything else. Even amidst this crisis, it is important for city leaders to continue to seek feedback to understand the broader needs of our community. By completing The National Community Survey, we can gather important feedback about topics such as safety, education and enrichment, economy, and natural environment, among other topics. Such feedback is essential in uncertain times such as these, so we can keep resident opinions front and center as we chart our way forward together. And, The National Community Survey allows us to get this feedback virtually even when in-person meetings are canceled.

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that demands our full attention and resources. Fortunately, we are working with a third party, National Research Center, to conduct the survey. This will allow our City leaders’ valuable time and attention to focus on the most imminent needs at this time.

While The National Community Survey covers more general topics about livability in the City of Decatur, you can also provide feedback on specific COVID-19 community impacts here.

If you have any questions regarding the survey, contact City Clerk Meredith Roark at meredith.roark@decaturga.com.


Census Day, April 1st, is just around the corner. By now you should have received your invitation to participate and we hope that you have already completed your form either online, by phone or by mail. And if you haven’t, you still have time. Visit 2020census.gov for more information.

In light of the COVIS-19 outbreak, the U.S. Bureau has adjusted its operations including delaying the sending of Census takers into communities to follow-up on non-responding households. Beware of any one approaching your home asking about the 2020 Census as that portion of the process won’t begin until the end of May. If you suspect fraud, contact the Decatur Police Department at 404-373-6551 and then call 1-844-330-2020 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

For more information about the change in the 2020 Census operations schedule or how to avoid fraud and scams, visit 2020census.gov/en/news-evetns/operational-adjustments-covid19 or 2020census.gov/en/avoiding-fraud.

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Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett issued an Emergency Stay At Home Order in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. The Order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 25, 2020 and stays in effect for 14 days until 11:59 p.m. on April 7 unless extended further or rescinded.

Since March 16 the number of cases of COVID-19 officially reported in DeKalb County has increased exponentially and is expected to continue to do so if significant measures are not taken immediately, said Mayor Garrett. Multiple cities in Georgia, including the City of Atlanta, following the advice and recommendations of infectious disease and public health experts, have issued similar orders for residents to shelter in their homes and have banned gatherings.

The Order directs that individuals living within the City of Decatur may leave their residences only for essential activities, essential governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses.  Additionally, when individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person when they are outside their residence.

The definition of essential businesses may be found in the Order and include businesses and activities related to health and safety including the delivery of those services and supplies to others such as food, medicine, and products essential to the operation of residences as one example. Examples of essential businesses include grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, auto supply and repair, and restaurants offering to-go orders only.

The intent of the Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible.

Mayor Garrett said, “I urge the community to work together as we help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and keep everyone safe during this time.”

For more information and to read the full Order, visit www.decaturga.com/covid19.