ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Nearly 500 thousand people in Atlanta are ordered to stay at home for at least two weeks.

The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, said this is imperative right now to slow the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

“Until we flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, the city must exercise every reasonable power to slow the spread of this virus," Bottoms said. "Across the globe we are seeing a growing sense of urgency, and we must all make some sacrifices to break the chain of infections and avert a worst-case scenario."

Atlantans can leave their homes for “essential” services. Those services include: cleaners and laundromats, health services, gas stations, banks and restaurants that have takeout and delivery.

You can leave your house to take care of a family member or your pet.

Also, as an outlet, you can still exercise. Parks and the Beltline are still open but make sure you practice social distancing.

Atlanta City Council Member Andre Dickens says people need to take this over seriously.

“We’re allowing people to go to parks but if we continue to see partying on the beltline where people are frolicking that could continue to spread the virus and we don’t need that. We have a shortage of mask and test kits, so we don’t know how deep the problem is but we can assure yourself to reduce and flatten the curve, we need to stay at home and keep our social distance.”

So what does “Essential Businesses” means:

1. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;

2. Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;

3. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;

4. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;

5. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;

6. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;

7. Banks and related financial institutions;

8. Hardware stores; lodging businesses (e.g., hotels, motels, conference centers);

9. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;

10. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;

11. Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;

12. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;

13. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site. Cafeterias in hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities shall not be subject to the restrictions contained in this order.

14. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;

15. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;

16. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;

17.  Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;

18. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;

19. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services;

20. Childcare facilities; and

21. Utility, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, railroads, public transportation, taxi/rideshare, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).

The Atlanta Police Department continues to closely monitor the situation while on our regular patrols.

If we observe a group or entity in gross violation of the Executive Order, those in violation will be warned and informed of the restrictions within the existing Orders. If the issue persists, the City will take the necessary and appropriate actions to resolve the issue on a case-by-case basis.

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