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 Kemp has issued a Statewide Shelter in Place Executive Order. To read it and all Executive Orders related to COVID-19, 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

The County Extension is open with limited person to person contact.   Appointments are preferred.   Samples (soil, plant, water, diagnostic) are accepted daily 8-5.  In-person classes are currently postponed.  However, there are other educational opportunities through online classes, social media, and other platforms.  Please contact us for more information at 478-751-6338 of uge2021@uga.edu.

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

Claystone and Arrowhead Parks at Lake Tobesofkee will reopen to the general public on May 4 from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sandy Beach Park will open Memorial Day Weekend, which is when it opens every year. People should not gather in groups of 10 or more people.

The cost for the two parks is $5.00 per vehicle, $15.00 for vehicles holding 15 or more people, $5.00 per vessel, and $30.00 per bus. The beaches will be open, but there are no lifeguards on duty. If people swim, it will be at their own risk. Camping (both tent and RV) will be allowed again by reservation beginning May 4. Call 478-474-8711 or 478-803-4556 for availability and pricing.

 

With the recent storms, some of the bike trails at Arrowhead Park may be blocked or damaged, so riders are urged to use caution until they can be fully checked. The Ocmulgee Mountain Bike Association is working helping to make sure the trails are clear and assessing other conditions.

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 Municipal Court

COURT PROCEDURES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

 

DEAR DEFENDANTS WITH UPCOMING COURT DATES:
Ticket fine and payment information are available online at www.maconbibb.us/municipal-court/ via Municipal Court’s webpage; or by calling 478-257-5012 to pay by phone.

If you wish to dispute the violation, it is your right to appear in court. If you have already paid your citation, your appearance is not mandatory. For many traffic violations, a court appearance is not mandatory.

Examples of violations that are a mandatory appearance include:

No Insurance Hit and Run
Suspended Registration Reckless Driving
Driving While License Suspended Speeding 40+ Over Limit
Driving While Unlicensed Theft by Shoplifting
Permitting Unlicensed Person to Drive Possession of Marijuana
Resisting/Interfering with Officer Possession of Drug Related Objects

If you are not sure whether you must appear for court, please contact the clerk’s office: (478) 751-7154 or court@maconbibb.us.

If you do not have an attorney and would like information about resolving your case without a court appearance, contact the Solicitor’s office at 478-621-6572 or municipalcourtprosecutor@maconbibb.us. There is no cost to you for contacting the Solicitor and you may be able to accept a plea recommendation to resolve your case without appearing in court.

In response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 virus, Macon-Bibb Municipal Court has implemented changes to court hearing procedures. Please be advised of the following:

  • When you arrive for your court hearing, you will check in at the main entrance; 2nd floor of the Bibb County Courthouse, 601 Mulberry St, Macon, GA 31202. A Court Security staff member will ask that you provide your name; then give you a court time as to when it is your time to meet with the Prosecutor and Judge. You will be asked to return to your car and wait in the parking lot until that return time.
  • Only the Defendant listed on the citation will be allowed to enter the court, with their attorney if applicable. Individuals under 21 years of age may be accompanied by one parent/guardian.
  • No friends, family members, or children may enter the courtroom. If you encounter a childcare issue, please contact the clerk’s office prior to your hearing. Continuances will be granted. Defendants who are 65 years of age or older and are not comfortable coming to court due to increased risk may contact the clerk’s office prior to the hearing date. Continuances will be granted.
  • Any Defendant who is ill will not be permitted to enter the courthouse. If you do not feel well, please stay at home and call the clerk’s office at 478-751-7154. If necessary, you may email court@maconbibb.us so that you can be contacted. Continuances will be granted.
  • Defendants will be encouraged to wear a face covering (mask or cloth) the entire time while inside of the courthouse building. (Los acusados deben traer y usar una máscara facial (se permiten máscaras de tela) todo el tiempo mientras estén dentro del edificio del tribunal).
  • Defendants who require an interpreter for court proceedings please contact the clerk’s office at 478-751-7154 or court@maconbibb.us prior to your court date. (Los acusados que requieran un intérprete, comuniquense telefono numero de 478-751-7154 immediato para obtener mas informacion por favor).
  • All Defendants and staff must always observe at least six feet of social distance.

In summary: Please arrive for your court hearing at the time noted on your hearing notice as the court will be operating on a staggered hearing schedule. If your report time is not printed on your notice, please report to the Courthouse no later than 8:00 a.m. to obtain your report time. When you arrive for your court hearing, you will check in at the main entrance of the Bibb County Courthouse located at 601 Mulberry Street, Macon, GA 31202. The main entrance is located on the 2nd Floor. Court Security will ask that you require that you complete the necessary court screening process, will obtain your name, and ask which court you are reporting to. They will verify what time you are scheduled to report. If you have arrived too early, you will be told what time you are to report and asked to leave the Courthouse and return at your scheduled time.

If a report time is not printed on your notice, you may contact Municipal Court via email for your report time at 478-751-7154 and/or court@maconbibb.us, no later than 24 hours prior to the date of your hearing, Monday through Friday 8 am – 5 pm only, to obtain your report time.

Sincerely,

Clerk and Staff of Macon-Bibb Municipal Court

Parks and Beautification

Parks and Beautification is back to full schedule. Also we are accepting special event applications for events to be held no earlier than June 1st.

Probate Court

The Probate Court will resume accepting applications for new and renewal weapons carry permits beginning May 18th.  Applications for renewals and new permits are by appointment only. The applicant must complete the application online prior to their appointment.  All applicants must use a face covering when coming to the Courthouse.  Persons with weapons carry permits that have an expiration date during the Emergency period will have 120 days after the date of expiration to obtain a renewal and the license will be considered valid during this period.  For example, if your license expired on May 1, 2020, you have 120 days after May 1st to obtain a renewal. 

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.

Tattnall Square Park & John Drew Smith Tennis Centers

  • Reopening to the public May 4, 2020.
  • All courts will be open for “open play,” drop-ins, and reservations, as well as private and small group coaching. All groups should have 10 or fewer people.
  • Only three customers will be allowed in the pro shop at one time.
  • There will be a daily cleaning of all surfaces in the pro shop.
  • Coaches will wipe down all carts and will keep wipes and/or hand sanitizer in each tennis cart.
  • The gates will be left open during operating hours, so people do not have to touch the common surface.
  • Plexiglass will be installed at the counters to help protect employees and customers, and six-foot markers will be placed leading up to the counter.

John Drew Smith Tennis Center Hours
Monday – Thursday – 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday – 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday – 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Sunday – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Tattnall Square Park Tennis Center Hours
Monday – Thursday – 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday – 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Pricing
Tennis – $4.00 (daytime) and $5.00 (nighttime)
Pickleball – $2.00

Historic Bowden Golf Course

  • Reopening May 4, 2020.
  • Operating hours will be 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $24 for weekday play and $28 for weekend play, taxes not included. This cost includes the golf cart rental.
  • Golfers will be required to call and reserve a tee time so people can be spaced out across the Course.
  • No more than four golfers will be allowed in the club house at one time, and lines will be marked for 6-foot distancing at the counter.
  • Only one person will be allowed in each golf cart, unless the people in the cart are family members.
  • All carts will be disinfected before and after rounds.
  • The club house will be disinfected regularly throughout the day.
  • No water coolers will be allowed on the course; water bottles can be purchased from the clubhouse.
  • Measures will be taken to help golfers retrieve golf balls from the cups without touching the flag sticks.
  • Maintenance staff will limit visits to the club house, as they are able.
  • Plexiglass will be installed at the counter to help protect employees and customers.
  • All staff will still practice procedures put out by the CDC for handwashing and all social distancing methods as much as possible.
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
  • The State Court of Bibb County has remained opened throughout the State of Emergency, with one or two employees present each day and the remainder teleworking.
  • All persons entering the Courthouse will: (1) be screened for fever, COVID-19 symptoms, recent exposure and travel; (2) required to wear a facial covering; and (3) required to maintain social distancing.
  • Full staff returned on May 18, 2020.
  • Jury trials are cancelled for the weeks of June 15 and June 22. The Civil Calendar Call for those weeks is also cancelled.
  • Criminal Motion Days are proceeding on May 26-28 and June 15-18.
  • Criminal Pre-trial Conferences for cases that were on the June Trial Calendar will be held on June 22-24.
  • “Friday Court” resumes on May 22, 2020. For the remainder of the year, Friday Court will be held in two sessions beginning at 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM. 
  • “Friday Court” was cancelled for March 20, March 27, April 3, and April 10. The make-up dates are June 1, 2, 3, and 4. On these days, we will have arraignment calendars at 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM.
  • “Friday Court” was cancelled for April 17, April 24, May 1, and May 8. The make-up dates are June 28, Une 29, July 1, and July 2.  On these days, we will have arraignment calendars at 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM.
  • NJT’s from the cancelled Fridays will be rescheduled. The Solicitor General is to assign those to new dates.
  • We continue to have jail court on Tuesdays and Fridays at 8:15 AM by video, with the Court presiding in the courtroom at the Courthouse, which is open to the public.
  • Swift, Certain, and Fair Court will resume on May 26, 2020.
  • State Court Probationers should resume reporting to their Probation Officer in person, unless directed otherwise by their Probation Officer.
  • In-person civil hearings will resume; however, video hearings are preferred and will be held in lieu of in-person hearings.
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