DUNWOODY, Ga. — To slow the spread of COVID-19, most community events have been canceled or postponed, though some groups are finding ways to connect virtually.
On March 16, the White House issued new guidelines in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Until the end of the month, the guidelines recommend canceling gatherings of 10 or more and canceling all gatherings in areas where there is substantial community spread.
The Centers for Disease Control also suggests people minimize trips outside their home, work remotely if possible and cook at home or order take out rather than dining out.
Experts continue to urge those who are sick or most at risk — older adults and those with a history of heart disease, lung disease or diabetes — to stay home and for all individuals to take basic precautions like washing their hands and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
Here are how some local groups are responding to the outbreak:
Community Assistance Center
The Dunwoody and Sandy Springs offices are offering only limited food distribution during this time and most services, including financial assistance and adult education, are now being offered online or via telephone. To donate to emergency relief, visit ourcac.org/2020/03/14/cvirushelp/.
DeKalb Public Library
All DeKalb County Public Library branches are closed to the public until further notice, and all programming for all ages is cancelled until March 31.
All book returns are closed until further notice. The library asks you keep all items you have checked out until the library reopens. The library will not be charging late fees during this time period.
In-person voting begins for the rescheduled May 19 primary are expected to resume in April.
Dunwoody Homeowners Association
The Dunwoody Homeowners Association will continue with the DeKalb Board of Education District 1 Candidate Forum in an online format on March 29 at 2 p.m. Questions can be submitted online at dunwoodyga.org/event/candidate-forum-dekalb-board-of-ed-district-1.
Dunwoody Nature Center
The main building is closed and all programs and events are canceled until the end of the month, but the grounds are still open for individuals to explore. The staff is working remotely and can be reached by email.
The Dunwoody Parks and Recreation Department has closed all indoor park facilities to the public. All programs, meetings, classes, events and rentals have been suspended until Monday, May 18. Staff will reassess the situation weekly.
Additionally, the city is closing all playground equipment in its parks until further notice and park restrooms will be locked.
“We’re putting the safety and well-being of children and families first,” Parks & Recreation Director Brent Walker said. “Our trails remain open, but we’re asking people to avoid congregating in groups of 10 or more anywhere in our parks, based on guidance from the CDC.”
The opening of the Dunwoody Farmers Market at Brook Run Park has been tentatively postponed until May 23. Updates will be posted at dunwoodyfarmersmkt.com, as well as opportunities to purchase from the market’s vendors online.
Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber
The Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber is postponing or canceling all gatherings until May 11. These events include: Future of Free Enterprise, Adulting: What’s Next After Graduation, Career Expo, Coffee and Contacts at Novel Perimter, First Monday at The Duke Pub, Coffee and Contacts at CycleBar and First Monday at Vintage Pizzeria.
The chamber launched a new Facebook page, Engage Dunwoody, as a forum to support small businesses during this challenging time. Perimeter Connects is also hosting a free webinar series partnership with Georgia Commute Options that covers topics related to teleworking.
Dunwoody Preservation Trust
The outdoor areas of the Donaldson-Bannister Farm remain open for self-guided tours and scavenger hunts. However, several programs have been postponed, including History Alive, Yoga on the Farm and Dunwoody Idol auditions.
Spruil Center for the Arts
All classes and events at the Spruill Center for the Arts have been postponed until Friday, March 27. This timeframe includes the organization’s annual fundraiser, Artistic Affair on March 21, but the event is moving online.
Silent auction items will be available to bid online with other “virtual surprises” during the evening. All funds raised during this virtual event will be used to continue to support the artists and instructors who work at Spruill.
“We are going to try to be creative, as an arts organization should,” new CEO Alan Mothner said. “We will be making every effort possible to support our teacher family and staff in the face of additional building closings and public event cancellations and can’t do it without you.”
Stage Door Players
The Stage Door Players will be closed until May 18. The theatrical group asked those who have already purchased tickets to hold onto them while they work toward a way to honor them in the future.
“While it is our hope that we will be able to continue with the current season in some fashion, we can only do so as soon as it is responsible and ethical to do so,” the board said in a statement.
“The coming weeks will be very difficult for all of us, and we appreciate the patience and support of all of our Stage Door Family as we try to navigate the uncharted path before us.”