Sandy Springs to close retail, limit restaurants to takeout

COVID-19, Atlanta Metro Area,

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sandy Springs plans to limit restaurants to take-out only. Officials are also considering the closure of retail businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

City Council will hold a special called meeting at 1 p.m. Friday to discuss a law limiting restaurants that serve food to takeout and delivery only. The ordinance would possibly close retail businesses, fitness facilities, movie theaters, nightclubs and other places that draw large numbers of people. 

“In speaking with Dr. Carlos del Rio ... of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine, and in keeping with recommendations from public health officials, this is a necessary move in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, in a statement.

The law would not apply to cafeterias in hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities; or grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas station markets. The full extent of the ordinance is still under legal review, according to the statement. 

Earlier in the day Thursday, Atlanta became at least the fourth city in Georgia to close restaurants and bars in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Brookhaven banned all dine-in services earlier this week. The Clarkston City Council, in DeKalb County, approved a resolution on Tuesday prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people and in-person dining at restaurants. 

On Wednesday, the Dunwoody City Council adopted an emergency ordinance banning in-person dining effective 9 p.m. Friday.