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CONYERS — Due to the impact of COVID-19 and shelter in place orders, Rockdale County government has furloughed 22 employees who work in Senior Services and Parks and Recreation.

According to the county, several parks and recreation facilities in the county have been shut down due to the health crisis. With fewer people using services, fewer staff members have been required to operate the facilities and programs. Changes are being made now to address the services that were discontinued.

The county notified the employees of the furloughs on Friday.

With seniors being the most vulnerable population, the Rockdale County Olivia Haydel Senior Center, which first closed in March, will remain closed indefinitely. The center will continue to offer the meals service to seniors.

In addition to closing some county facilities, numerous public events in the county have been canceled. This affected many Parks and Recreation activities, including summer swimming, camps and youth sports. The county issued refunds for scheduled venue rentals and weddings. This loss in revenue will also affect the workforce and services at county rental facilities and parks.

Remaining staff will focus on the operation and upkeep of outdoor parks, trails and facilities that have proven to be the most beneficial during COVID-19.

Construction remains underway for the extension of the pool area and additional gym at Johnson Park Recreation Center; however, the facility will remain closed until November to keep the general public and park staff safe.

“This is a very delicate, sensitive and fluid process, and it is still very much under review,” Chairman Oz Nesbitt Sr. said of the furloughs. “It is still active and ongoing, and we take it very seriously. The livelihoods of our employees and their families will never be taken for granted.”

Contact the Department of Talent Management at 770-278-7575 for more information about upcoming changes to staffing. For more information about facilities and parks, Johnson Park at 770-278-7529.

Check back for more details on this developing story.

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Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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