Local communities impose curfews and state of emergencies, ban in-person dining

COVID-19 , Industry News ,

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Metro Atlanta counties and cities are announcing stricter community restrictions to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus in their communities.

City of Alpharetta

All bars, restaurants, and similar businesses that sell food and/or non-alcoholic and/or alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises, provide entertainment on premises, or allow for the gathering of ten (10) or more persons on premises shall be closed to in-person dining, consumption of alcohol, entertainment, or gathering of persons until the expiration or reenactment of this Ordinance, whichever is later. Businesses that allow for the gathering of ten (10) or more persons shall only refer to restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, arcades, movie theaters, live performance venues, and public and private clubs.

Bars, restaurants, and business that sell food or beverages for consumption on premises may offer food for take-away, take-out, or delivery to be consumed off premise. All businesses shall be authorized to sell to customers, whom simultaneously purchase food, unopened bottles of beer and/or wine for consumption off premise; provided, however, that off premise delivery of alcoholic beverages shall be prohibited.

Most city parks are closed but paths and the Greenway remain open.

Athens-Clarke County

Athens-Clarke County is under a mandatory 24/7 ″shelter in place."

People will be required to do social distancing and stay at home. There are exceptions to the order for essential traveling, including to the grocery store, to pick up medications, work-related activities and caring for family members.

Restaurants can remain open but for takeout and delivery only. Click here to read the full ordinance and exceptions.

City of Atlanta

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a 14-day stay-at-home order starting March 23. The order requires people within the city limits to stay in their homes except for essential services, activities, work or for government services.

As of right now, the order does not include essential businesses, parks, the Atlanta BeltLine and restaurants serving takeout.

The order also directs all businesses to cease non-essential operation at physical locations with the city limits.

City of Brookhaven

The City of Brookhaven ordered all restaurants, bars and entertainment venues to close except for takeout and delivery through the end of the month.

“This is just the latest step in preventing the spread of this highly contagious virus. The CDC and Board of Health are advocating social distancing as a means of containing the Coronavirus, so we are requiring that Brookhaven restaurants and bars suspend dine-in service until March 30,” said Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst.

Restaurants that do offer take-out service are not allowed to have more than one customer inside at a time.

In addition to food and beverage sales, any venue that provides on-premises entertainment is also suspended, whether or not food or beverages are sold.

The city is also declaring a state of emergency.

City of Canton

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Cities of Canton and Woodstock representing over 60,000 residents in Cherokee County have jointly issued executive orders placing a ban on dining inside restaurant facilities effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25 through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 12. During the time of this ban, City officials encourage restaurants to utilize alternative options for food sales including, take-out, curbside to-go, and delivery practices. Additionally, each restaurant currently operating under a consumption on premises or pouring permit for beer and wine may sell packaged (un-opened) beer and wine with food services outlined above. Canton and Woodstock believe that the limit of in-facility dining, which goes beyond the measures ordered by Governor Brian Kemp, are best practices to curb the spread of germs while also taking into consideration the health and well-being of patrons and restaurant employees. This ban on dining does not impact personal care facilities, group homes, assisted living facilities, or healthcare cafeterias.

“These are unprecedented times, and we need to be mindful of the health of our restaurant employees and patrons,” said City of Canton Mayor Bill Grant. “We encourage citizens to support our wonderful restaurants through their alternative options for takeout and delivery, and we urge our citizens to continue to take measures to flatten the curve on this pandemic.”

City of Chamblee

The mayor signed an executive order closing all in-person dining at restaurants and bars that sell food or beverages, orders that no more than 1 customer be inside at a time and prohibits any gatherings of 1 people or more.

·"Any business that violates the Executive Order may be closed and may have its business license suspended or revoked."

The order expires April 21, 2020 unless extended.

City of College Park

The City of College Park has declared a State of Emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Mayor and Council held a special-called meeting on Thursday, March 19, where the body voted to establish a curfew on all bar/pub establishments, nightclubs, restaurants and any other businesses providing prepared foods and beverages for the public.

Effective immediately, those establishments are required to close no later than 10:00pm each day and remain closed until 7:00am. The newly revised ordinance does not include gas stations, convenience stores and grocery stores. Additionally, any business licensed to distribute alcohol shall cease that service 30-minutes prior to closing or by 9:30pm.

Beginning Monday, March 23, non-essential personnel will no longer report to work at City Hall. Although City Hall was open by appointment only this week, city administration determined that additional action was necessary to ensure the health and safety of all employees. Those staff members who telework will continue to do so. The current plan directs staff to return on April 6th.

Although City Hall will be closed, customer service drive-thru operations will remain in effect during the hours of 8a – 5p. Please note: wait times may be increased, so utility customers are encouraged to go collegeparkga.com and pay online.

City of Covington

Covington City Council declared a local state of emergency and issued a curfew starting Friday. People in Covington are urged to stay inside between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. The city is also prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.

The City of Dalton

The city has declared a state of emergency in Dalton, Tunnel Hill, Varnell and the Town of Cohutta. The resolution limits all voluntary social gatherings of more than 10 people as well as dine-in restaurant services until April 13. Restaurants can still serve drive through or pick-up orders and can now sell sealed containers of alcohol. The resolution begins 5 p.m., March 23.

City of Decatur

Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett issued a Public Health Emergency Order prohibiting on-premises dining at restaurants and allowing take-out and delivery services between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily, effective immediately.

DeKalb County

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond issued a state of emergency March 23. Effective immediately, all public gatherings are limited to 10 people or less and there is a voluntary curfew in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. except for trips to work and emergencies.

The executive order also closes dine-in services starting at midnight. But restaurants can still do take-out and sell alcohol with those orders.

Meanwhile, bowling alleys, gyms, fitness centers, salons, spas, barbers, and other personal grooming places will be limited to 10 people. All indoor funeral gatherings are limited to 10 people or less and the county also encourages graveside services of 10 people or less.

City of Doraville

The Doraville City Council voted unanimously to enact mandatory restrictions on city restaurants, bars and other businesses that bring people into close contact with one another. Enforcement will begin after 11:59 p.m. on Friday. It will continue through the close of business on March 31. The restrictions may be extended if the mayor and council determine it necessary. Mayor Joseph Geierman had declared a state of emergency in the city on Wednesday.

According to the ordinance, restaurants, bars and other businesses that sell food or beverages for consumption on premises will be closed to in-person dining, consumption of alcohol or other business activities. In-person contact must be limited. Businesses affected by these closures shall establish systems that ensure that all onsite consumption of food is prohibited, and that patrons, employees and contractors of the business maintain at least 6 feet of personal distance between themselves as much as possible given the physical constraints of the premises. If possible, delivering food for takeout to a customer’s vehicle can also be part of a business’s plan.

Establishments providing massage, manicure, hairstyling or personal grooming services must discontinue business through March 31 (or longer, if mandated by the mayor and council). Gyms or sports clubs offering the use of exercise equipment or close-contact sports must discontinue business during this time. Event facilities capable of hosting gatherings of more than 10 people also must discontinue business.

City of Duluth

The City of Duluth voted Friday afternoon to declare a state of emergency in the City. The action allows the Mayor and other City leaders to take extraordinary measures to aid the businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Effective at 5:00pm on March 20, 2020, all bars and restaurants who sell food or beverage for consumption on site shall be closed to in-person and patio dining. These businesses may offer food for take-away and those properly licensed may sell unopened bottles of beer or wine for take-out.

Prior to this declaration the City had put into effect the following measures:

  • Closure of City Administrative Offices (including Parks & Recreation, Public Works, Municipal Court and the Records Office) to the public until further notice. During this time staff will operate on a mix of staggered schedules and telecommuting.
  • Complete closure of City Hall through March 25. During this time staff will be telecommuting.
  • Cancellation of all Parks & Recreation evening and weekend programs and Active Adult programs through April 6.
  • Cancellation of all Parks & Recreation league play until further notice.
  • Suspension of Municipal Court until April 13.
  • Closure of City dumpsters starting March 23 until further notice.

For more information about our COVID-19 response click here.

City of Dunwoody

The emergency ordinance requires bars, restaurants, or businesses that sell food or beverages for consumption on premises to close in-person dining. Those establishments are allowed to offer delivery or takeout instead.

The city has closed gyms, studios, sports clubs, playgrounds and park restrooms.

City of East Point

Starting March 23 at 12 a.m., all bars, restaurants and other establishments that sell food and drinks are closed to in-person dining. Restaurants can offer food for takeout or deliver only. Places that sell alcohol may sell unopened bottles for take-out orders.

Non-essential businesses and services are ordered to close starting March 24 at 12 a.m. for seven days.

City of Forest Park

Forest Park City Hall, Municipal Court, and all city properties will be closed until further notice. However, essential employees such as fire, police and public works employees will continue to provide services to the public. Mayor Butler and the governing body are exploring extending grace periods for payments due to the City.

Forsyth County

Forsyth County issued a local state of emergency Wednesday to allow for more resources. Administration building, all county offices at West Maple, animal shelter and code compliance are all closed. Gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.

Gwinnett County

Gwinnett County issued a local state of emergency Tuesday. It grants the board of commissioners permission to use county resources to help residents deal with the impacts of the virus.

The board would also have permission to suspend alcohol sales. The declaration is in effect until April 13.

“As the declaration states, the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to result in significant loss of life and a major disruption of community affairs, business services and governmental operations,” the county said. 

City of LaGrange

The mayor has declared a state of emergency. Most city buildings are now closed. The public safety building and fire department remain open with a few restrictions.

Please be aware when you call for public safety you will be asked a series of questions to provide the safety of our citizens and public safety. Police and Fire will ask citizens to meet the first responder at the front door and the report will be taken outside the residence. If you come to the police department, a report will also be made outside of the LPD building. You can continue to pay your utility bills through the mail, the city’s drive thru or drop box at City Hall, 200 Ridley Avenue, online at www.lagrangege.net, through your online banking or by phone at (706) 883-2030.

You will no longer be able to walk into City Hall to pay your utility bill in person. Customers are still responsible to pay for utility bills. The city will be suspending utility disconnections for non-payment of delinquent accounts. Requests for new service can be made through our utility website at www.lagrange.net.

The City of LaGrange Municipal Court and Probation Services will be closed to the public. Defendants scheduled to appear in court Monday, March 23rd through Tuesday, April 14th will be rescheduled at a later date. To make a payment go to www.lagrangemunicipal.org or call 1-844-733-3166.

City of Lawrenceville

Governor Brian Kemp has given statewide direction to further control the COVID-19 virus in the State of Georgia. Following the Governors’ recommendations for the closure of businesses to protect public health, the City of Lawrenceville will close all City Buildings to the public beginning Tuesday, March 24, until further notice.

“Since the onset of this crisis, the health and safety of our staff and citizens has been our top priority,” said Chuck Warbington, City Manager. “We have been operating on a staggered staffing plan for over a week now and will continue to do so to keep all City departments operational.”

City customers are encouraged to utilize online services, drive thru or drop box services at City Hall, or they may call and make an appointment if necessary. The City has removed all extra convenience fees for online bill pay to provide an easier option for customers.

For additional information regarding the City of Lawrenceville’s COVID-19 response, visit lawrencevillega.org or follow the City’s Facebook Page.

City of McDonough

The city of McDonough has declared a state of emergency.

All City of McDonough government buildings will remain closed to the public until further notice. Closures include McDonough City Hall, Municipal Court, Police Department, Fire Stations, Public Works, Main Street Welcome Center, and the C.O. Polk Museum.

All City parks and restrooms have been closed until further notice including Alexander Park East, Alexander Park West, Avalon Park, HOPE Park, Richard Craig Park, and Rufus Stewart Park. During the closure, we will be pressure washing and sanitizing the restrooms and playgrounds to ensure they are ready for when they are reopened.

Out of consideration for the well-being of our citizens, we have temporarily suspended all water cut-offs and will reevaluate the timeframe as the situation develops. We encourage all customers to continue to make regular payments online, over the phone, by utilizing our drop box, or by visiting our drive-through. The convenience fee for paying online or over the automated phone line will be credited back to accounts.

The Community Development Department is currently only accepting inspection requests for items that are immediately ready for inspection, with the condition that inspectors must be allowed to conduct inspections of the subject property unattended to comply with social distancing precautions. Permits may be purchased over the phone with a credit card and can be obtained via email.

In accordance with CDC recommendations, all City and Main Street events have been cancelled until further notice. There has been no determination made relative to convening the April 2, 2020 City Council Workshop; however, we are looking into various options.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to ensure that decisions are made in the best interest of our employees and the public. Please visit the City of McDonough’s website at www.mcdonoughga.org or City’s social media for updates and the latest information.

City of Norcross

The City of Norcross’ mayor and council declared a local state of emergency by unanimous vote in order to help mitigate some of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Norcross and ensure the safety of our staff and citizens. All city facilities have been closed to the general public until further notice. This includes City Hall, Public Works, Court Offices, Welcome Center, Cultural Arts & Community Center and the Fire Station Museum. Daily operations will continue–see below for service assistance.

All city park facilities are closed until further notice for private, permitted events. Parks are still open for individuals and small family units with fewer than ten people, per CDC guidelines. Following CDC recommendations, the city will cease public gatherings at city facilities containing more than 10 people through May 10, 2020.

Local businesses have been informed that, under City Ordinance Sec. 4-50: Establishment Closure in Cases of Emergency (Code 1979, § 9-4-23.1; Code 1998, § 6-57), any establishment in the city occupied by more than 10 people (including employees) will be shut down immediately by uniform patrol for a period of 24 hours. We recognize the struggle businesses are experiencing however, and are working to communicate available resources, including financial assistance. We encourage citizens to help us support our local businesses by making curb-side, delivery and gift certificate purchases.

City of Sandy Springs

During a special-called meeting of the Sandy Springs City Council on March 20, 2020, the City Council approved an amendment to its Emergency Declaration Ordinance imposing temporary restrictions on the operations of restaurants and eating and drinking establishments in an attempt to stop large numbers of individuals from gathering in close proximity.

The measure calls for the temporary closure of bars, nightclubs, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys, arcades, and private social clubs (with respect to food services and other indoor gatherings at such social clubs).

Restaurants and other eating and dining establishments where food is served must cease offering dine-in services, but may continue preparing and offering food to customers via delivery, drive-through or take-out services. Patrons, employees and contractors of the establishments must maintain at least six (6) feet of personal distance between themselves as much as possible given the physical constraints of the premises. If a restaurant is licensed by the City of Sandy Springs to sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption, under this amended ordinance, the restaurant may sell unopened bottles of beer or wine for take-out consumption off-premises.

Cafeterias in hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities are currently exempt from these restrictions.

“These are unprecedented times, and we need to heed the guidance from health officials,” said Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul. “Based on recommendations from the CDC and local experts, we believe it is in the best interests of the public to restrict opportunities for public gathering while we try to curb the spread of COVID-19.”

The amended ordinance becomes effective at midnight, March 20, 2020, and remains in effect for the time the Emergency Declaration Ordinance is in effect.

City of South Fulton

On Wednesday, the mayor of the City of South Fulton declared a state of emergency and implemented a curfew in the county. Residents are instructed to be inside their homes between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. with the exception of people going to and from medical facilities/work, responding to emergencies, emergency and public safety personnel, essential city personnel, people traveling through the city or making deliveries within the city.

In addition, gatherings of more than 10 people are restricted and all business are ordered to close indoor access to the general public by 9 p.m., aside from medical and pharmaceutical establishments.

City of Sugar Hill

Sugar Hill City Hall will be closed to the general public. Staff will continue to report to city hall or connect remotely, carrying out the daily functions of the city.

Beginning Friday, March 20th, Business License applications, Planning and Zoning Permit applications, Alcohol License applications, and New Utility Service applications will be taken on an appointment-only basis. Appointments can be made by calling 770-945-6716.

Gas utility payments can be made by calling 1-855-748-1345 or by visiting https://ipn.paymentus.com/cp/shga for online payments.

City of Suwanee

Mayor Jimmy Burnette declared a state of emergency in Suwanee, Georgia in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The declaration will allow the city to prioritize resources, coordinate an effective response, and other steps necessary in response to this emergency. The declaration is effective as of 3:00 pm on March 20, 2020.

Along with a Declaration of Emergency, Mayor Burnette has also signed Executive Orders 2020-01 and 2020-02. Executive Order 2020-01 orders the closure of restaurant dining rooms, including patios. Establishments may continue to sell food via delivery service, takeout, and drive-thrus. Executive Order 2020-02 orders the closure of all gyms, fitness centers/studios, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys and entertainment centers and other similar establishments within with the corporate limits of Suwanee. These actions are similar to orders implemented by other Georgia cities, including the cities of Atlanta and Brookhaven.

“Most of our city restaurants have already began making these adjustments on their own, and for that we thank them for their proactive efforts to date,” said Mayor Burnette. “With this proclamation, we are taking additional steps to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and protect the health and safety of Suwanee residents.”

“We continue to encourage residents to support local businesses while practicing social distancing to minimize the spread of COVID-19. City staff has collected and created a web page outlining local restaurants, shops, and services that remain open and their adjusted business models. This information can be found at Suwanee.com.”

The City of Suwanee will continue to monitor the situation and make informed decisions that support public health and flatten the curve of COVID-19. The following steps have been taken to date:

  • Closed City Hall, the Police Station, Police Training Center, Suwanee Municipal Court, and Public Works buildings to the general public.
  • Created phone or online options for obtaining necessary city services;
  • Reduced onsite employees and directed at-risk employees not to report to work;
  • Increased cleaning protocols and installed sanitizing stations;
  • Developed alternating work groups to segregate employees for essential services (water, dispatch, etc.);
  • Postponed court sessions, public meetings, and events through March 31;
  • Postponed any water customer disconnects;
  • Extended business license due date until May 29;
  • Closed the Suwanee Welcome Center.

City parks will remain open for the time being, with the practice of safe social distancing recommendations.

For more information about the City of Suwanee’s response to COVID-19, including what city facilities are closed or city services impacted, please regularly check Suwanee.com.

City of Villa Rica

The mayor of Villa Rica has declared a state of emergency effective immediately. The mayor also signed an executive order that shuts down dining rooms, parks, fitness centers and bars.

The executive order will allow restaurants to sell alcohol with take out orders.

City of Woodstock

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Cities of Canton and Woodstock representing over 60,000 residents in Cherokee County have jointly issued executive orders placing a ban on dining inside restaurant facilities effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25 through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 12. During the time of this ban, City officials encourage restaurants to utilize alternative options for food sales including, take-out, curbside to-go, and delivery practices. Additionally, each restaurant currently operating under a consumption on premises or pouring permit for beer and wine may sell packaged (un-opened) beer and wine with food services outlined above. Canton and Woodstock believe that the limit of in-facility dining, which goes beyond the measures ordered by Governor Brian Kemp, are best practices to curb the spread of germs while also taking into consideration the health and well-being of patrons and restaurant employees. This ban on dining does not impact personal care facilities, group homes, assisted living facilities, or healthcare cafeterias.