Martinez at meeting

Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez takes part in a digital meeting of the City Council on Monday morning, March 23, 2020, at City Hall in Loganville, Ga. The council was conducting its first digital meeting and Martinez had to sit in a hallway to avoid feedback from another computer.

LOGANVILLE, Ga. — Mayor Rey Martinez said he will institute Walton County’s first stay-at-home order in the current health crisis.

In a Facebook post Saturday morning, Martinez said he plans to follow the lead of Gwinnett County, which on Friday locked itself down.

About a third of Loganville is in Gwinnett County. The remainder is in Walton, which has resisted ordering its citizens to stay home to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Gwinnett’s order makes exceptions for businesses deemed essential, such as those selling food and medicine.

“We are all navigating uncharted waters as we respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and I am grateful to each of the cities for their decisive actions,” Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said in remarks reported by the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“The district commissioners and I would like to express our deep appreciation to all of our residents and businesses for making temporary sacrifices for the good of our communities as our hospitals, health care workers and first responders prepare for a rapidly growing caseload.”

The Lawrenceville newspaper reported that Gwinnett’s order allows for several exceptions, including health care facilities, gas stations and convenience stores, businesses that serve people who are working from home, delivery services, newspapers, hardware stores, banks and more.

Martinez asked people to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines by washing their hands for 20 seconds at a time, and by keeping at least 6 feet of distance from others.

“Together we will defeat this virus and get back to normal,” he said.

The Loganville City Council declared a state of emergency on Monday.

Georgia had 2,198 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 7 p.m. Friday. Sixty-five people had died from it.

Gwinnett County had 121 cases and one resident had died from the virus.

Walton County has had no confirmed cases of residents, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.