social distance

With local municipalities stepping up measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the City of Arcade has banned gatherings of more than 10 people, prohibited dine-in service at restaurants and shuttered some businesses until April 6 in response to the pandemic.

The Arcade City Council made these moves through unanimous approval of an emergency declaration ordinance during a March 25 meeting. Most council members accessed the meeting remotely.

Public gatherings of 10 or more people on city property are banned under this state of emergency, while all outdoor public and private gatherings of more than 10 people are also prohibited.

“That does not mean they can’t use the sidewalks or pedestrian areas of parks for walking,” mayor Doug Haynie said. "It's as long as they're not a part of a formal gathering."

While the emergency declaration bans dine-in service, restaurants can still offer take-out orders to its customers. The declaration states that patrons, employees and contractors must maintain a distance of six feet from other individuals “as much as possible given the physical constraints of the premises.”

Arcade’s emergency declaration requires the closure of other businesses in which people come within close proximity to each other for extended periods. Establishments under those guidelines would include bars, gyms, fitness centers, pools, social clubs, amusement facilities, bowling alleys, pool halls, theaters, massage parlors and nail salons.

Grocery stores will remain open but signage must be posted at entrances informing customers to stay six feet away from other individuals.

The declaration also mandates that no city public utility service will be disconnected during the emergency period. Late bills would be due 10 days after the declaration expires.

The guidelines adopted by Arcade were modified from a Georgia Municipal Association model ordinance. Among the changes made was the removal of a voluntary curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

“At this time, we’re not going to enforce that,” Haynie said. “If people will do the things that we’re asking them to do, I don’t believe we’ll have a need for that. However, we reserve the right to do that at a later date.”


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