City of Cleveland approves emergency regulations to prevent spread of COVID-19

  • The City of Cleveland declared a state of emergency and approved emergency measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during a called meeting on Thursday, March 26.
    The City of Cleveland declared a state of emergency and approved emergency measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during a called meeting on Thursday, March 26.
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The City of Cleveland declared a state of emergency and approved emergency measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during a called meeting on Thursday, March 26.

The state of emergency will take effect today, Thursday, March 26, and will expire on April 16, unless the council decides to extend it or terminate it earlier.

The City of Helen made its own emergency declaration on Tuesday, March 24, and the White County Board of Commissioners approved an emergency declaration for the unincorporated areas of White County earlier on Thursday.

Highlights of the ordinance include:

For the duration of the declared emergency, there shall be no public gatherings on any property owned or controlled by the City. To avoid confusion, the following definitions shall apply under this Section: a "public gathering" shall mean the organized gathering or assembly of ten (10) or more persons at a specific location; "property owned or controlled by the City" shall include any park, public square, public space, playground, recreational area, or similar place of public gathering, but nothing herein shall prohibit individuals or families from using sidewalks or designated pedestrian areas of parks for walking or other exercise if they are not participating in an organized gathering.

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. Restaurants, licensed by the City of Cleveland to sell/serve beer, wine, mixed drinks, or alcohol in any form, for on-premises consumption, shall not be authorized to sell any opened or unopened bottles or cans of beer or wine or mixed drinks or alcohol in any form, for take-out consumption off-premises

• All businesses which remain open during the emergency must post signage on entrance doors informing consumers to maintain at least six (6) feet of personal distance between themselves and others and shall not allow morethan ten (10) people into suchestablishment at any one time if such social distancing cannot be maintained.

• All public and private gatherings of more than ten (10) people occurring outside of a household or living unit are prohibited. Nothing in this ordinance, however, prohibits the gathering of individualsfor the purposes ofcarrying on business certified as· "essential" by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency pursuant to O.C.G.A. §38-3-58, the provision of medical or health services, or critical infrastructure businesses and employees as designated by the Governor or identified by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and InfrastructureSecurity Agency (as may be found in the Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response, or subsequent document).

Any person violating the provisions of this ordinance shall be deemed guilty of an offense, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by the municipal court of the City of Cleveland. Such person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during which any violation of this ordinance is committed, continued or permitted by that person and shall be punished up to $1000.00 per day for the violation.

There is no curfew included with the state of emergency. 

To view a copy of the ordinance, click here.

The action follows Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive orders earlier in the week that required “medically fragile” Georgians and those at high risk of contracting the novel coronavirus to stay at home, closed all bars and nightclubs, and prohibited gatherings of 10 or more unless the participants remain at least 6 feet apart.

The governor’s order, which took effect at noon Tuesday, runs until noon April 6.