Cobb coronavirus task force plans for possible shutdown

File Photo: Downtown Marietta, including the Cobb County Superior Court, as seen from above. (courtesy of Cobb County)

Cobb has created a coronavirus task force that will meet daily as the county prepares for the possibility of an extended shutdown.

The task force is headed by County Manager Jackie McMorris and includes public safety leaders, representatives from the courts and others.

Some changes may come before the Board of Commissioners for a vote, but the task force has already taken the following actions:

-The county has adopted an “Emergency Closure Policy,” which includes a list of who will continue to work and get paid during a shutdown.

-Officials are getting a list of essential employees who will need remote access to the network to ensure continuity of services.

- Cobb has adjusted its workers compensation policy so that a county employee who is exposed to the virus while on the job or becomes contagious while on the job is covered.

- People who are exposed to the virus while not on duty will be required to use sick leave.

The county is exploring other measures, including  policy changes for events with a large gathering of people, and ways of accommodating personnel who suddenly find themselves without childcare if schools close.

“I just want to say how important it is for communication to the public,” Commissioner JoAnn Birrell told Fire Chief Randy Crider during a briefing this week. “Communication is the key to make people aware of what’s going on.”

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