Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield issued an Emergency Order this morning aimed at slowing the spread of novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19.
The Order, which comes under the guidance of the Georgia Department of Public Health, requires all restaurants, bars, private clubs, and similar food or drink establishments to close their dining rooms no later than 12:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The Order applies to all dine-in food service in Walker County, regardless of whether the establishment is in a city or unincorporated area.
“We hope our restaurants will choose to continue servicing customers during this unprecedented crisis by utilizing drive-thru, curbside pickup, carryout and/or delivery options,” said Whitfield. “For eating establishments licensed to serve alcohol, we are also relaxing rules that might have prevented them from providing additional menu items.”
Along with new restrictions on dine-in food service, the Order prohibits social gatherings of ten or more people, requires gym and fitness centers to close, and restricts visitation at nursing homes, retirement homes, long-term care and assisted living facilities in Walker County. The Order follows a reduction in Walker County Government operations to mission critical services that took effect today.
“There is clear evidence of widespread exposure in our region to COVID-19, presenting a serious risk to the health, safety and welfare of all Walker County residents. We must work together as a community to send a clear message about the seriousness of this pandemic if we are to slow the spread,” Whitfield added.
The Emergency Order will remain in effect for the duration of the County’s local state of emergency for the COVID-19 public health crisis. A local state of emergency was issued on March 18, 2020.