Rockdale County has furloughed 22 employees amid a decline in government services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The furloughed employees work in the county’s Senior Services and Parks and Recreation departments, according to Toni Holmes, Rockdale’s human resources director.
In a news release, county officials said the cuts come amid a decrease in services offered since March as the result of shelter-in-place orders implemented by the state, cities and the county.
“The impact of COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place orders have caused the shutdown of several parks and recreation facilities,” the county said in the release. “With less people using services, less staff has been required to operate. Changes are being made now to address the services that were discontinued during this time.”
Because older people are more vulnerable to the virus, the Olivia Haydel Senior Center in Conyers will remain closed indefinitely, officials said. That facility first shut its doors in March, but will continue offering meals to those who need them.
The county’s parks department has also seen a decrease in services because of the pandemic, which has affected summer camps, swimming and this year’s youth sports. With fewer people hosting events, refunds were issued for venue rentals and weddings amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Officials said remaining employees will focus on the operation and upkeep of outdoor parks, trails and facilities, which more people are using. It’s unclear how long the furloughs will last or if additional employees will be affected.
“This is a very delicate, sensitive and fluid process, and it is still very much under review,” County Chairman Oz Nesbitt Sr. said in a statement. “It is still active and ongoing, and we take it very seriously. The livelihoods of our employees and their families will never be taken for granted.”
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