News Releases

Please note this page has remained up for a record of city actions during the initial stages of the pandemic, for the most current info please proceed to the Re-Opening Plan Page.

Office of Public Communications

Media Announcement
May 19, 2020
For Immediate Release 

City of Savannah to distribute cloth face coverings to community

SAVANNAH, GA (May 19, 2020) — The City of Savannah is distributing 4,500 cloth face coverings for free to the community.

Through a partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Los Angeles-based apparel company Bella Canvas donated these coverings to the City.

Savannahians can pick up a cloth face covering at the front desk of City Hall during normal business hours or at the following Savannah Fire stations:

  • Station 4 – 2401 Augusta Ave. in West Savannah
  • Station 9 – 2235 Capital Ave. on the eastside behind Savannah High School
  • Station 11 – 11844 Apache Ave. on the southside behind the Savannah Mall
  • Station 13 – 11 Mckenna Dr. near the airport

Savannah Fire personnel will distribute the face coverings at these locations from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, Thursday, May 21, and Friday, May 22 while supplies last.

Firefighters will be wearing PPE during distribution, and social distancing guidelines will be enforced. Savannah Fire has not resumed station house tours or walk-in blood pressure check services. Fire stations remain closed to the public.

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings to cover their nose and mouth in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, like grocery stores and pharmacies. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2 and should be washed and dried regularly.


Who: City of Savannah


What: City of Savannah to distribute cloth face coverings to the community 


  • City Hall at 2 E. Bay St.
  • Savannah Fire station 4 at 2401 Augusta Ave.
  • Savanah Fire station 9 at 2235 Capital Ave.
  • Savannah Fire station 11 at 11844 Apache Ave.
  • Savannah Fire station 13 at 11 Mckenna Dr.


City Hall front desk: 

Monday – Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 


Fire stations:

Wednesday, May 20 from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Thursday, May 21 from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Friday, May 22 from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Office of Public Communications

Media Announcement
May 12, 2020
For Immediate Release

City yard waste pick up ongoing, collection crews expanded

SAVANNAH, GA (May 12, 2020) — The City of Savannah continues to pick up yard waste and has expanded the number of collection crews to expedite the process.

At the end of April, the City started a one-time, citywide collection of yard waste utilizing a private sector partnership that is normally only activated after major storms. The amount of debris greatly exceeded expectations, and pickup is taking longer than anticipated.

City workers and equipment are now supplementing the private contractor’s crews on weekends. They have removed yard debris from 82 of Savannah’s neighborhoods so far.

Collection is ongoing in 23 neighborhoods, including:

  • Eastside
  • Dixon Park
  • East Victorian District
  • Baldwin Park
  • Live Oak
  • Benjamin Van Clark Park
  • Parkside
  • Ardsley Park/Chatham Crescent
  • Ardmore/Gould Estates/Olin Heights
  • Abercorn Heights/Lamara Heights/Ridgewood/Poplar Heights
  • Memorial Hospital/Fairfield
  • Edgemere
  • Avalon/Oglethorpe Mall Area
  • Paradise Park
  • Leeds Gate/Colonial Village/Hunters Chase
  • Largo Woods/Quail Forest
  • Wilshire Estates/Savannah Mall/Tranquilla Woods
  • The Village/Rio/Armstrong
  • White Bluff/Holland Drive
  • White Bluff Neighborhoods
  • Windsor Forest
  • Coffee Bluff/Rose Dhu
  • Wild Heron Plantation/Southern Woods/Habersham Plantation

Collection in these neighborhoods is nearly complete.

The City temporarily suspended residential yard waste, recycling and bulk item collection last month to allow sanitation employees to socially distance themselves on the job due to COVID-19.

Office of Public Communications

Sanitation services altered due to COVID-19

Media Announcement
April 2, 2020
For Immediate Release


Sanitation services altered due to COVID-19


SAVANNAH, GA (April 2, 2020) — Effective Monday, April 6, Sanitation’s residential services will be limited to garbage collection only. The following services will be temporarily suspended until further notice in response to COVID-19 to enable the City to increase social distance between employees:

  • Recycling
  • Yard Waste
  • Bulk Item Pickup
  • Special Collections

Residents may use their recycling cart for garbage overflow. Residents are urged to avoid putting bulk items and yard waste on the curb, as they will not be picked up during the time of suspended services. Residents are also asked to report incidents of illegal dumping.

The two drop off centers (Dean Forest Landfill Facility and Bacon Park Transfer Station) will remain open during normal business hours and citizens can bring recycling, yard waste and bulk items to these locations:

Dean Forest Landfill Facility:

Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m.- 3:15 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Bacon Park Transfer Station:

Monday –Tuesday – Closed
Wednesday – Sunday – 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

The Street Cleaning division is operating under its regular schedule to help keep the streets clean and leaves and litter.

For more information, please contact the Sanitation Department at 912-651-6579 or dial 311.

Additions to Enhanced Emergency Declaration

Office of Public Communications

Media Announcement
March 25, 2020
For Immediate Release

Additions to enhanced emergency declaration

SAVANNAH, GA (March 25, 2020) — Today, Mayor Van R. Johnson, II, announced additions to and clarifications of the enhanced emergency declaration for the City of Savannah.

After receiving regulatory guidance from the state, barbershops, beauty parlors, nail and personal care salons will close on Friday, March 27, at 5 p.m.

Additional clarifications include pawn shops, title pawn shops, landscaping services and moving services are considered essential businesses and may remain operational. Vape stores are not permitted to stay open. Automobile dealerships can operate their service departments, but they may not operate their sales departments. Real estate maintenance and rental services and work to execute contracts currently in existence are allowed, but all other real estate work should be performed remotely.

Mayor Van R. Johnson issues Shelter at Home order

You can view the full order here

Shelter-Page Opens in new window

City departments limiting public access

Office of Public Communications

Media Announcement
March 20, 2020
For Immediate Release


City departments limiting public access


SAVANNAH, GA (March 20, 2020) - In response to Mayor Van R. Johnson’s emergency declaration, City Manager Pat Monahan has approved limiting public access at City facilities. The City of Savannah remains open for business, but the following changes should be noted:

  • Revenue Department
    • Suspended in-person customer service and temporarily closed its lobby at 305 Fahm St. at noon on Friday, March 20.
    • Staff will be available to serve customers by telephone and through email during regular business hours on issues related to utilities, cashiering, property taxes, business taxes and alcohol licensure.
    • The City will continue to accept utility bill, property tax and other payments online through the City website, by mail and curbside drop-off in the drop box at the Revenue Department’s office at 305 Fahm St. To encourage electronic bill payment, the $3.50 online transaction fee will be temporarily waived. 
    • The City of Savannah will not disconnect water service for non-payment through the end of March and will not contact residents regarding delinquent payment at this time. Customers are reminded this temporary measure does not relieve them of their responsibility to pay their bill. If residents are having difficulty paying their utility bills, they are asked to call the City to set up a payment plan. 
    • Customers can subscribe to an email newsletter for updates from the Revenue Department by visiting and clicking “Join Our Email List” under the Helpful Links section.  
  • Development Services, Capital Improvement Projects and Planning and Urban Design
    • The lobby at 5515 Abercorn St. is closed to the public.
    • Customers must schedule an appointment to meet with specific staff.
    • All offices will maintain regular weekday business hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 
    • All SPR and BPR meetings are canceled until further notice. 
    • All Wednesday Walk-Throughs are canceled until further notice. 
  • Office of Business Opportunity and Savannah Entrepreneurial Center
    • All scheduled classes are moved online. Individuals already registered for an upcoming session will receive information on how to access classes through an online portal.
    • All visits to the Savannah Entrepreneurial Center are by appointment only. All services will continue to be available during normal business hours by accessing or calling (912) 652-3582.
    • The Office of Business Opportunity remains available to assist with starting a business, accessing incentives, government contracting, and small business financing
  • Traffic Engineering Office
    • Starting Monday, March 23, there will be no walk-in service for permits (dumpster/container, driveway, oversize load, right-of-way work permits). 
    • All permit requests for essential work must be submitted via fax (912) 525-1535 or email
    • Invoiced fees can be paid using most credit cards online via eTRAC. To sign up, users must click "Register" on the eTRAC site and provide the required information. 
    • A drop-box is available next to the main entrance of the Traffic Engineering Office located at 1100 W. Gwinnett St. - Building B for customers unable to submit applications and/or fees electronically. No personal checks or cash will be accepted. Only cashier’s checks, money orders or local company checks.
    • Permitting services will ONLY be available for essential work (critical service repairs or installations). Applications for non-essential work or requests that can be rescheduled will not be accepted until further notice.
    • Contact the Traffic Engineering Office at (912) 651-6600 with questions.
  •  Office of Special Events, Film, and Tourism  
    • The Office of Special Events, Film, and Tourism (SEFT) will not accept applications for new events or issue any permits for activities on the public right-of-way or in City facilities through April 13, 2020. 
    • If you have received a permit for an event scheduled to take place between March 18 and April 13, 2020, please contact the office for either a refund or to have your permit fees applied to another date. Please be advised that, until more is understood about the length of the impact of Coronavirus on our community, SEFT will not be rescheduling dates at this time. Please check the website regularly for updates and changes to this Policy.
  • The following City facilities are only open to visitors by appointment:
    • Coastal Georgia Center
    • City Hall
    • Savannah Morning News building 
    • Special Events, Film and Tourism Office
    • W.W. Law Archives 

COVID-19 media briefings scheduled

Office of Public Communications


Media Announcement
March 20, 2020
For Immediate Release

COVID-19 media briefings scheduled

SAVANNAH, GA (March 20, 2020) — Mayor Van R. Johnson, II will begin hosting regular media briefings next week to provide weekly updates regarding COVID-19 and its impacts on the City of Savannah.

Briefings will be held each Tuesday at 10 a.m. on the first floor of City Hall. Additional briefings may be scheduled on Thursdays at 10 a.m. as necessary. 

If the situation warrants, the City may begin holding remote briefings and providing video to our media partners.



Who: Mayor Van Johnson

What: COVID-19 media briefings scheduled

Where: City Hall

When: Tuesdays 10 a.m.

Mayor declares local state of emergency

Office of Public Communications


Media Announcement
March 19, 2020
For Immediate Release



Mayor declares local state of emergency


SAVANNAH, GA (March 19, 2020) — Today, Mayor Van R. Johnson, II declared a local state of emergency in the City of Savannah that will take effect on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 8 a.m. This declaration will be in place until April 5, 2020 unless otherwise amended, extended or canceled by the Mayor.

“These are extraordinary times. It is important that we take thoughtful and deliberate measures to protect our citizens, employees and businesses from the large gatherings known to be the breeding ground for COVID-19,” said Mayor Van R. Johnson, II. “While uncomfortable, I believe this is the most responsible course of action.”

Based upon this declaration, all bars and nightclubs that do not serve food will be closed. Restaurants and other eating and drinking establishments must reduce seating capacity by 50 percent for dine-in services. They may also continue to prepare and serve food and drink via delivery, drive-thru and takeout. Cafeterias in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers and similar facilities will not be subject to these restrictions and may continue normal operations.

All City of Savannah metered and garage parking will be free for the first hour.  

All gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys and arcades will be closed. All sightseeing, guided and/or narrated tours must stop operations.

Funerals with more than 10 mourners are encouraged to conduct graveside services only or to postpone to a future date.

The emergency declaration also allows the City Manager to activate emergency operations plans. City employees will soon begin teleworking remotely from home as directed by the City Manager.

Mayor Van R. Johnson, II will be available to answer questions from members of the media at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 20, at City Hall.