Stonecrest will offer old Sam’s Club to state for coronavirus fight

The city of Stonecrest joined the ranks of metro Atlanta municipalities adopting coronavirus-related restrictions on local businesses and gathering places — while also floating another unique proposal.

The executive order that Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary issued Monday largely mirrored the restrictions  put forward earlier in the day by DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond.

Public gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited and businesses like gyms, salons and barber shops are instructed to keep their occupancy below that threshold.  Restaurants are limited to take-out and delivery service.

Residents are asked to participate in a voluntary curfew that runs from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day.

ExploreMORE: Complete coronavirus coverage from the AJC

In addition, Lary said he’ll be offering the old Sam’s Club building that his city recently purchased to the state of Georgia “for temporary use as medical housing, testing, or whatever deemed necessary to serve the state and our citizens.”

The former Sam's Club, which closed in 2018, is located off Turner Hill Road. Stonecrest officials approved about $3 million in bonds earlier this year to purchase the 131,000-square-foot building.

“Hopefully, this will give Georgia a facility in this area that will help make sure that this virus is quickly contained and cured,” Lary said in a news release.

In a video press conference Monday night, Gov. Brian Kemp announced a ban on public gatherings of more than 10 people and closed bars and nightclubs across the state. He also highlighted efforts to create overflow hospital beds and find additional quarantine facilities.

Many cities across metro Atlanta have already implemented more stringent restrictions than those imposed by the governor, including most in DeKalb County.

The city of Stone Mountain joined Stonecrest in adopting new measures on Monday. Stone Mountain's restrictions mirror those implemented by unincorporated DeKalb County.

The cities of Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody and Tucker had previously put coronavirus measures in place, though restrictions vary from place to place.

Lithonia and tiny Pine Lake appeared to be the only DeKalb County municipalities that had not mandated large-scale restrictions of some sort.