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3 Gwinnett cities cancel events, July 4 gatherings due to coronavirus

The downtown Lawrenceville square. FILE PHOTO
The downtown Lawrenceville square. FILE PHOTO



Three Gwinnett cities jointly announced they’re canceling major public events through July 10, including Independence Day festivities, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Duluth, Lawrenceville and Suwanee announced the cancellations Friday, citing advice from public health officials on the state and federal levels.

“With summer quickly approaching, we have to make hard decisions regarding large scale events now,” Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris said in the cities’ joint statement. “We hate to cancel our July 3 celebration, but for an event of this scale, the planning needs to happen now and there are simply too many unknowns.”

The cities will revisit the issue of event cancellations in mid-June, said Suwanee City Manager Marty Allen in the cities’ joint statement. Depending on the state of the pandemic, more events could be canceled or those already canceled could be rescheduled.

While the statewide shelter-in-place order has been lifted for most Georgians, the public health emergency is in effect until June 12. A shelter-in-place order for people older than 65 and people with underlying health conditions making them more susceptible to coronavirus is also in effect until June 12.

These three cities and Gwinnett County put stay-at-home orders into effect before Gov. Brian Kemp issued one statewide, but none has issued a new order since Kemp’s expired Thursday night.

Canceling events will prevent situations in which social distancing — especially maintaining a six-foot distance from people outside your household — would be difficult or impossible. Concerts and community festivals can pack large crowds in these cities’ downtowns, violating recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that include keeping gatherings at a size of 10 people or less.

Norcross has also canceled public events through early July, with its annual “Red, White and Boom” event July 3 the latest on the calendar to be canceled.