The Newnan Times-Herald

Local

County, cities pass emergency measures


  • By Sarah Fay Campbell
  • |
  • Mar. 27, 2020 - 7:57 PM

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Coweta County and its municipalities passed ordinances designed to protect residents from the ongoing concerns from COVID-19.

These ordinances force certain businesses to shut down, eliminate all dine-in service at restaurants, and set 10-person gathering limits and 6-foot personal distance requirements.

State officials have also issued guidance for large employers, such as production plants, requiring them to come into compliance with social distance rules.

Coweta County, Newnan and Senoia had passed nearly-identical ordinances by Friday afternoon. Turin passed an ordinance limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people but didn’t pass restrictions on businesses.

Sharpsburg was scheduled to pass the ordinances later on Friday. The Grantville City Council met Monday and acted to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people and asked residents to voluntarily shelter in place.

Senoia and Turin’s ordinances also state that the cities won’t disconnect any utilities provided by the city during the duration of the emergency.

Thursday, the Georgia Department of Public Health issued guidance to production facilities and other large companies to put Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive orders into place.

The executive order issued March 23 states that “no business, establishment, corporation, nonprofit or organization shall allow more than 10 persons to be gathered in a single location if such gathering requires persons to stand or be seated within 6 feet of any other person."

According to Thursday’s release from District 4 Public Health, workers must maintain 6 feet of distance between each other at all times, and each area must have no more than 10 people at one time. Frequent hand washing and the wiping down of commonly used surfaces must also take place.

Georgians can report those who are not following the guidelines of the emergency order at https://gov.georgia.gov/contact-us/constituent-services and include the business name, address, county and telephone number, and specific details of the complaint, or call 404-656-1776.

When filling out the form, put the business name under “first name” and “last name,” not the complainant’s name. Complaints can be anonymous, though people filing companies are asked to include a phone number so they can be contacted for further information.

Gov. Kemp’s executive order also requires anyone who is suspected to have COVID-19 because of their symptoms and exposure, anyone exposed to someone who has COVID-19, anyone with a positive COVID-19 test, those undergoing cancer treatment, those with chronic lung disease and those living in long-term care centers to quarantine themselves.

Under the local ordinances, certain businesses must close, including gyms, nail salons and other grooming businesses such as hair salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors and the like, pool halls, theaters, bowling alleys and any other facility used for entertainment, social, grooming or general health and wellbeing purposes must remain closed while the ordinances are in effect.

No public or private gathering of 10 people, outside of a household, is allowed. This includes churches, funerals, weddings and other meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Restaurant employees should maintain a 6 foot distance between each other and customers as much as possible.

Other businesses can continue to operate but must abide by either a 10-person limit or the 6-foot distance. All businesses must post signs at their entrances telling everyone they must maintain the 6-foot distance. In a business where there isn’t room for everyone inside to maintain the 6-foot distance, only 10 people may be allowed in at one time.

That 10 person limit includes any employees inside of the business, according to Cleatus Philips, Newnan City Manager.

At Friday’s Senoia Council meeting, there was discussion on whether or not that limit included employees, and the consensus was that it did not.

All Cowetans are also asked to voluntarily shelter at home. That means staying home unless you are on an emergency errand or are seeking essential food, services or medical care for yourself or someone else, going to and from work, traveling through the county, or participating in personal or family activities such as walking, jogging and cycling.

The Coweta County and city of Newnan ordinances are set to expire April 8, unless extended. The Senoia ordinance is set to expire April 10, unless extended.