At a specially called meeting on Wednesday, the city of Dalton mayor and Council approved new measures that expanded the city’s response to the COVID-19 state of emergency that was declared on March 23. The expanded resolution was developed jointly with the other municipal and county governments of Whitfield County.
The resolution passed by a unanimous 4-0 vote. Mayor David Pennington typically votes only in the event of a tie. Council members Derek Waugh and Annalee Harlan participated in the meeting via teleconference.
The resolution goes into effect at 11 p.m. Wednesday. The resolution leaves in place all directives from the March 23 declaration and also:
Directs all people showing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus from entering any public place
Directs that all people in public spaces should maintain a distance of at least six feet between themselves and others
Requires all people in groups considered “at risk” per CDC guidelines and the governor of Georgia’s directive to shelter in place and refrain from being in public places
Orders that people shall not participate in social gatherings of 10 or more people in places including but not limited to social functions, religious worship meetings, attendance at theaters, gyms or fitness centers, flea markets, yard sales, or funeral services or visitations
Eliminates dine-in service at restaurants, bars, or similar establishments including all food service permit holders from the Department of Public Health, except to offer drive-through, carry out, or curbside pick up service. Cafeterias in licensed medical centers or nursing homes are exempted.
Allows establishments with pouring beer and wine licenses to sell unopened, sealed containers of beer or wine for takeout consumption off premises. All open container laws or ordinances remain in effect.
Orders the closing of businesses that require close personal contact for the performance of the service delivered including, but not limited to, barber shops, hair salons, day spas, nail salons, massage parlors, tanning salons, and tattoo/body art studios during the time the order is in effect.
Closes all children’s playgrounds, whether located at parks, school yards, apartment complexes, etc.
Orders all retail establishments except for grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies to limit the number of customers present within the business to one customer (1) per 1,000 feet of floor space of the business. Businesses with less than 5,000 feet of floor space will be allowed to admit up to five customers. All retail businesses to include grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies will take reasonable steps to ensure customers remain six feet away from each other at all times including while waiting to enter, checkout, and exit.
Orders that all businesses that remain open to the public will restrict in-person contact between public and employees and endeavor to keep all persons remain not less than six feet apart.
Orders that all businesses that remain open but not to the public such as manufacturing, wholesale, and warehouses endeavor to keep all employees no less than six feet away from each other at all times.
Orders all businesses and employers to take necessary steps to ensure none of their personnel are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 and to send personnel home if symptoms manifest.
Encourages all businesses and employers, to the maximum extent possible, to provide employees with the means and equipment to perform essential job responsibilities remotely.
Provides for violations by individuals or covered businesses of any of the orders to be considered ordinance violations of the subject jurisdiction and provide for penalties up to and including a fine of $1,000 and/or incarceration of up to 60 days.
This resolution will remain in effect until April 30 at midnight unless amended, extended, or terminated by an act of the Dalton City Council.