Coronavirus: Atlanta, DeKalb Co. cities expected to announce mandated restaurant closures

COVID-19, Atlanta Metro Area,

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

In an effort to curb the novel coronavirus outbreak, the city of Atlanta and municipalities in DeKalb County are expected to announce mandated closures of restaurants and bars within those jurisdictions as early as Monday afternoon, a source with knowledge of this situation told Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Atlanta establishments that serve food will be mandated to close their dining rooms but will be able to continue operating as take-out and/or delivery businesses. Bars that do not serve food will be mandated to close altogether.

The city of Brookhaven, which is located within DeKalb County, announced the mandated the closure of dine-in establishments earlier Monday afternoon.

As of Sunday night, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp did not have plans to mandate the closure of restaurants and/or bars in the state, the Chronicle reported. It is unclear if Kemp's thinking has changed as of Monday afternoon. The governor has applauded restaurants that have announced voluntary closures via his official Twitter account. Response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been fluid.

Many local restaurants already have moved to delivery and/or take-out models or closed down entirely.

In its latest report on the outbreak, posted Monday at noon, the Georgia Department of Public Health announced 121 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. Fifty-nine of those cases come from the metro Atlanta Fulton, Cobb and DeKalb counties.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Sunday declared a citywide state of emergency and a ban on public gatherings of more than 250 people. Bottoms on Monday updated her executive order to ban gatherings of more than 50 people, citing the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control.

President Donald Trump on Monday announced new federal guidelines that advise against public gatherings of more than 10 people and the consumption of food and beverages inside bars, restaurants and food courts.