Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Updates

About COVID-19

Please visit the North Central Health District for information about COVID-19 and how you can help slow it’s spread.

For questions or concerns about COVID-19, call the Georgia Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-844-442-2681.  If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, or have been exposed to it, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your locally federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up at an emergency room or health care facility.

Governor Brian Kemp issues an Executive Shelter in Place Order. To read the order click here.

For Frequently Asked Questions and additional information, click here.

Coronavirus Relief Options for small businesses can be found here.

Gov. Kemp, University of Georgia’s SBDC Provide Overview of CARES Act Funding. Read here.

Slowing the spread of COVID-19

As the Novel Coronavirus 2019, or COVID-19, spread through Georgia, Macon-Bibb County departments and agencies began planning for how they could change operations to help protect the health of employees and the community, all while maintaining expected and needed services. These changes have been throughout this week as it was possible.

All offices are either limiting public access or are closed to people, and people are encouraged to call before to determine if their needs can be met over the phone or online. (Phone numbers are listed on our website at www.maconbibb.us or people can call 751-7170.)

Below is a list of services provided to people that have been altered. Where a department is not listed, it means it is primarily an internal function. All offices are undergoing additional cleanings throughout the day, and all staff are encouraged to take proper preventative measures and ensure social distancing.

Also included below are links to partner agencies’ and offices’ efforts to help slow the spread of the virus.

Macon-Bibb County Consolidated Government
  • Mayor Reichert declared a Local State of Emergency on Monday, March 23. Click here to watch the announcement and click here to read the full Order.
    • all public or private gatherings (exceptions listed in the Order) of more than ten people are prohibited;
    • restaurants shall close to the public except to provide take out, delivery, drive-through, or curbside service;
    • bars, taverns, and similar establishments are to be closed;
    • restaurants licensed to sell beer or wine may offer to sell sealed bottles to customers to go;
    • body care services which require physical contact between the provider and client are closed;
    • indoor recreation facilities are closed;
    • business license deadlines are extended through May 6th;
    • all special event permits are cancelled;
    • retail, commercial, and industrial establishments can remain open provided they make restrictions on the number of people and steps taken for social distancing in order to protect employees and the public.
  • Encouraging all people to take preventative measures.
    • Maintain good social distancing practices.d
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Business Development Services

Code Enforcement, Inspections and Permitting, Business License

  • The deadline for business licenses has been extended to May 6.
  • No longer be accepting walk-in customers for Alcohol / Business Licensing and Construction Permitting.
  • Customers may enter the front reception foyer area only and drop applications in bins signed as either “Alcohol / Business Licensing” or “Construction Permitting.” The customer must immediately leave the building to avoid creating a choke point within the entrance to our office and to provide the CDC recommended social distancing between customers and staff.
  • Complaints to Property Maintenance or Construction Permitting will be handled by email or phone. We will cease meeting with customers in the building to resolve complaints.
  • Applications for Alcohol / Business Licensing will be processed daily and the customers will have their new licenses mailed within two weeks. Our staff will offer expedited emergency processing for special cases involving dual renewals between Macon-Bibb County and other state or federal agencies, or for other hardships.
  • Construction Permitting will notify the applicant when their process has been completed and the customer can return to pick up their permit and/or approved plans at the front entrance only. All Certificates of Occupancy will be mailed or sent as a scanned PDF electronically to the customer to minimize contact.
  • All departmental meetings with the public will be canceled to minimize contact. Meetings may occur by phone or other internet-based options.
  • Construction inspections will continue, with the following exception: Interior residential inspections within occupied homes will be pushed back until after this emergency has been lifted. Other construction inspections will occur within CDC guidelines, which are evolving to meet this emergency. On the jobsite, customers are requested to maintain social distancing. Construction Inspectors safety is paramount, with the Construction Inspector reserving the right to decline the inspection if their individual health and safety is seen to be compromised by the customer.
Clerk of Commission

The office will have only limited public access. People are asked to call the office prior to visiting the office to determine if questions can be answered without physical contact or proximity.

Commission Meetings are closed to the public, but will be simultaneously broadcast at www.facebook.com/maconbibbcounty and www.maconbibb.us.

Clerk of Superior Court

Access to the office is limited to staff only, who are assisting TPO customers and sheriff bonds with very limited contact and are available to assist people by phone or email.

The public is encouraged to use e-filing and e-recording of court pleadings and real estate/land records. All child support cases have been canceled. Our Board of Equalization office is closed, and hearings have been canceled.

Pay Child Support/Restitution/Fines via mail or online at bibbpmts.com.

County Extension

Offices are closed to the public, and classes and 4H meetings have been cancelled. Staff will still assist the public via phone and email, and projects will continue with people working remotely.

District Attorney’s Office

Due to COVID-19 precautions, the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office is not serving walk-ins. We can be reached by phone by calling (478) 621-6427.

Victim advocates are also still providing services. To reach an advocate in Bibb County, call (478) 258-9870. Information is also available at macondistrictattorney.org/victim-services/

E-911

Normal operations with social distancing and preventative measures enforced.

Emergency Management Agency

EMA staff will rotate shifts to help monitor and coordinate COVID-19 efforts by Macon-Bibb and partner organizations.

Engineering

The office is closed to the public, and people who need to speak with staff should call 478-621-6660. Staff are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays to respond to 811 (underground utility locator) calls. A drop box will be placed outside the front door for customers to deposit plans and letters.  This will be checked a couple times per day.

Finance

Employees divided into two teams to minimize personal contact while maintaining payroll, purchasing, accounts payable, answering phones, and other functions.

Juvenile Court
  • All legal deadlines are tolled for a period of 30 days, with some exceptions.
  • Limiting access to the court building unless there is a need for them to be there.
Lake Tobesofkee
The public parks and campgrounds are closed to the public. The lake remains open to boaters.
Magistrate Court
• The criminal division (issuing warrants, first appearances, and bonds) remains operational.
• Service of process has been suspended due to concerns about deputies going into houses.
• Dispossessory court cases have been postponed, and other scheduled cases are being rescheduled. Cases that couldn’t be rescheduled will be held one at a time in the courtroom.
• Taking online and limited in-person filings.
Municipal Court

Macon-Bibb County Municipal Court
P.O. Box 247
Macon, GA 31202-0247

  • Please contact the Municipal Court Clerk’s Office with any questions or concerns at (478) 751-7154.
Parks and Beautification
Crews will work on a rotating schedule to maximize social distancing, while maintaining service. No groups of more than 10 people will be allowed to gather in the parks, and all special event permits have been canceled.
Probate Court
  • Applications for Marriage Licenses will be by appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling the License Division (478) 621-6493 or by email:emiller@maconbibb.us. Applications are available online and should be completed before the appointment.

https://www.maconbibb.us/probate-court-weapons-carry-licenses
https://www.maconbibb.us/probate-court-marriage-licenses/

  • Weapons Carry License applications and renewals are temporarily suspended.
  • Inquiries and filings for Estate and Guardianship matters, including Temporary Guardianships of Minors, by self-represented persons will be by appointment only.
    1. Appointments can be made by calling the Probate Division (478) 621-6494 or by email: cpresley@maconbibb.us. Information and forms related to the Probate Court can be found on our  https://www.maconbibb.us/probate-court-probate-proceedings/.
  • Emergency proceedings and matters involving mental health will continue to be addressed as usual. Please advise the deputies upon arrival to the courthouse if you are hear for an emergency mental health order or Order to Apprehend.
Public Affairs

Media & Communications
Will work remotely (as possible) and continue to generate news releases, work with the COVID-19 Joint Information Center, field media calls, maintain a continuous social media presence, and develop videos as needed to support the departments. Will support the Commission with broadcasts of public meetings.

Customer Service
Staff will work remotely to maximize social distancing. To request services, call 47-751-7400 or use SeeClickFix with the online or free mobile app.

Public Works

Crews will work on a rotating schedule to maximize social distancing.

Recreation

The Administration Office in Central City Park will be closed to the public

Recreation Centers

Each day, staff will post a health and wellness video posted 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. from an individual recreation center’s Facebook page. A new schedule will be released each week for people to pick which they’d like to attend, and all videos will be available for later viewing on the respective pages. Classes began March 23 with a Morning Chair Exercise led by the Elaine H. Lucas Senior Center.

To follow the recreation centers on Facebook, click on one of the following links: Bloomfield-Gilead Recreation Center, Delores A. Brooks Recreation Center, Frank Johnson Recreation Center, L.H. Williams Recreation Center, Memorial Park Recreation Center, Elaine H. Lucas Senior Center, Rosa Jackson Recreation Center, South Bibb Recreation Center, and Theron Ussery Park Community Center.

Tennis Centers

All tennis and pickleball facilities are closed to the public.

Bowden Golf Course

Bowden Golf Course is closed to the public.

Sheriff’s Office of Civil & Magistrate Court
  • Will not serve complaints, dispossessories, or new garnishments.
  • Eviction set outs have also ceased until the state order expires.
  • Arrest warrants and search warrants will be issued to certified law enforcement officers. First appearances and bond hearings will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday -Friday and 9:00 am on Saturdays at the LEC. 
  • Commitment hearings that have been scheduled will be rescheduled after April 13.
  • All new filings can be filed on-line. We will accept all new filings at the counter but strongly encourage on-line filing.
  • Marriage ceremonies suspended until after the order is lifted.
  • All small claim lawsuits set for hearings in March and through April 15, 2020 are scheduled to be heard. Only one court case will be allowed in the courtroom at a time. We would encourage parties to talk with one another to see if the case can be settled or rescheduled.
State Court of Bibb County
  • Jury trials are cancelled for the weeks of April 6 and 13. The Civil Calendar Call, the Criminal Motion Days, and the Criminal Pre-trial Conference Day for those trial weeks are also cancelled.
  • “Friday Court” is cancelled for March 20, March 27, April 3, and April 10. The make-up dates are May 18, 19, 20, and 21. On these days, we will have arraignment calendars at 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM. On the make-up days, we will not have contract defense lawyers present. We will handle all pro-se pleas on those days. For defendants, who request an attorney, we will assign an attorney, and we will coordinate with contract counsel regarding when they will see these defendants.
  • NJT’s from the cancelled Fridays will be spread out over new Friday dates after April 10. We have asked the Solicitor General to assign those to new dates.
  • We will continue to have jail court on Tuesdays at 7:45 AM (at the LEC), and we will add a jail court on Fridays at 9:00 AM (at the Courthouse).
  • People arrested on most misdemeanors in the next 30 days (and those currently held) will be released on OR Bonds. We are finalizing a list of charges which do not qualify for the OR Bonds.
  • Swift, Certain, and Fair Court will be held on March 24 and April 14.
  • State Court Probationers will be assigned a date after April 15 for their next report date. They are expected to continue making payments. On a case by case basis, Probation Officers may require probationers under the age of 60 to continue to report.
  • Tele-work options will be explored for as many employees as feasible.
  • In person civil hearings will not be held for the next 30 days, unless there is a specific need or requirement to do so.
  • Criminal hearings and NJT’s will be reset.
  • Any Probation Rules and Report Backs set for April 2, should be moved to May 7.
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Solicitor

The office is closed to the public. No outside visitors are allowed in the office without an appointment, and staff are handling work via phone call and email. Someone will staff the reception desk from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. to answer phone calls and questions.

Victim Witness Assistance Program
The following plan of action is being taken to continue providing remote services to victims of crime. Our goal is to remain connected while keeping both advocates and victims safe.

  • Victim Witness Services will continue on a rotating basis with some advocates telecommuting from home until further notice. Also, the staff that is assigned to come into work one hour later and one hour early to reduce the risk factors.
  • Each advocate has been assigned a laptop and cell phone to stay connected with needed information at to provide effective notifications.
  • We implemented the following to continue providing services to victims under these changed circumstances.
    1. Victims are being notified of the status of their case in light of the Statewide Judicial Emergency by phone calls, emails, and text messages.
    2. Our office can still receive information from victims to ensure their opinions are heard because the office has an advocate available in the office at all times until further notice to provide information and get feedback from victims.
    3. Indicate how websites and social media are being used to make victims aware of information (e.g. publishing court dockets on social media, providing links to sites that provide information about arrests and releases, providing list of referrals, etc.)
    4. Referrals to community and other resources are still being provided to victims by referral letters, emails, fax, and phone calls.
    5. Some of the remote community resources team, for us, are: Bibb County Sheriff Department and the Crisis Line and Safe House, Bibb County Health Department’s Office, Department of Family and Children Services, United Way of Central Georgia, and Disability Connections, of Macon GA.
Solid Waste

Administrative Staff 

Solid Waste Office will open for the public to come in on Mondays & Fridays only. Only a few people will be allowed in the office at a time.  Staff will work a rotating schedule cover phones, pay bills, & submit payroll.

Landfill

The landfill will only be open three days per week: Monday, Tuesday & Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  It will be closed to the public on Wednesday & Thursday, and crews will use that time to work on compliance issues.

Collections

Beginning Wednesday, April 8, 2020, the Solid Waste Department will temporarily halt all collection of containerized yard waste, large piles of yard waste, and bulk waste so crews can assist ADS in the collection of household garbage.

ADS picks up the rolling carts of household garbage, and the Solid Waste Department is picking what is in additional cans or sitting on the ground. The Department is asking for people’s patience as they work long days to try and keep up with collections, stressing it may be a day later when the additional material is picked up. They also want people to understand why they could see two trucks picking up their garbage.

Superior Courts
Jury trials and the grand jury are suspended for 30 days. The Court is not completely shut down, but anything requiring crowds larger than 10 will be rescheduled.
Tax Assessor’s Office

The Tax Assessor’s Office is closed to the public until further notice, and they have moved their services online at www.bibbassessors.com. People can find all the information and forms they may need on that site, and staff are available to answer specific questions at the numbers below.

“We appreciate your time and patience while working through these unprecedented times,” says Tax Assessor Andrea Crutchfield. “We want to continue serving the public, while protecting the health of both our employees and community.”

Real Property

All real property Returns (PT-50R), and applications for exemption (Conservation Use, Exempt, & FLPA) must be mailed into this office with a US Postal Mark no later than April 1, 2020. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at 478-621-6701. These forms and applications are available on the Macon-Bibb County Tax Assessor’s website at www.bibbassessors.com.

Personal Property

All personal property returns, and applications will only be accepted by US mail. All returns should be filed on or before April 1 of the current year. Returns are considered filed upon receipt; the U.S. Postal Service postmark establishes the date of filing. Postage meter stamps will not be accepted as evidence of timely filing if the date is different than the Postal Service postmark. If you have any question you may call 478-621-6723 or go to our website www.bibbassessors.com to obtain a return or application.

Tax Commissioner’s Office

The Macon-Bibb Tax Commission Office lobby is already closed to the public due to concerns stemming from the spread of COVID-19. With the lobby closed, people can make payments and access services in the following ways:

  • Use one of the four drive-thru lanes for property tax payments, solid waste payments, and tag renewals. (Driver’s license required.) The Tax Commissioner encourages people to have hand sanitizer in their car for use after handling anything that somebody else might have handled. 
  • Make online payments at www.maconbibbtax.us. 
  • Use one of two tag renewal kiosks, but please maintain a six-foot distance from other people. One is at the Kroger on Tom Hill Senior Boulevard and the other is at Kroger on Hartley Bridge Road.
  • Send payments through the mail.
  • Make a payments over the phone by calling 478-621-6500.
  • Drop off a payment after hours in a night deposit box in the first lane of our drive thru. Envelopes are available in the drawers above the drop box.
Partner Information

Bibb County School District – www.bcsdk12.net

Central Georgia Technical College – https://www.centralgatech.edu/covid-19

Coliseum Health Systems – https://coliseumhealthsystem.com/

First Presbyterian Day School – https://www.fpdmacon.org/

Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce – https://www.maconchamber.com/

Macon Centreplex – https://www.maconcentreplex.org/covid-19-updates/

Macon Transit Authority – https://www.mta-mac.com/

Macon Water Authority – http://www.maconwater.org/

Mercer University – https://www.mercer.edu/coronavirus/

Middle Georgia Regional Library – http://bibblib.org/

Middle Georgia State University – https://www.mga.edu/

Mount de Sales Academy – https://www.mountdesales.net/

Navicent Health – https://www.navicenthealth.org/

Newtown Macon – www.newtownmacon.com

North Central Health District – https://northcentralhealthdistrict.org/coronavirus/

Stratford Academy – https://www.stratford.org/

Visit Macon – https://www.maconga.org/

Wesleyan College – https://www.wesleyancollege.edu/about/news/Coronavirus/index.cfm