Fayetteville orders ‘non-essential’ businesses to close for 2 weeks

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Restaurants can offer unopened beer, wine with takeouts; no business open after 9 p.m.; council will reevaluate in a week — 

The Fayetteville City Council on March 24 adopted a wide-ranging emergency ordinance in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The ordinance took effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 25 and expires at 11:59 p.m. on April 6.

Fayetteville City Councilman Rich Hoffman. File photo.
Fayetteville City Councilman Rich Hoffman. File photo.

The emergency ordinance covered a wealth of topics, including businesses and services that are essential and non-essential, specifics dealing with restaurants, times of business operations and guidance for houses of worship and social distancing.

The vote on the emergency ordinance was 4-1, with Councilman Rich Hoffman opposed.

Commenting on his opposing vote, Hoffman after the meeting said, “I felt a little bit like we overstepped our bounds in regard to what’s going on in the community,” adding that the ordinance action was essentially a “broad-sweeping brush that will be a real challenge to businesses.”

Hoffman stated his belief there was a rush to get the ordinance put forward and that sufficient due diligence was not done.

Pertaining specifically to restaurants and entertainment venues, the ordinance notes that:

1) All restaurants and other establishments which sell food or beverages for consumption on the premises or who provide entertainment on the premises will be closed to in-person dining, alcohol consumption or entertainment during the term of the ordinance.

2) Said restaurants, and other establishments may offer food for take away, delivery or for customers to eat at location(s) other than the establishment.

3) Any establishment licensed for the sale of beer and/or wine for consumption on the premises may sell unopened bottles or cans of beer and bottles of wine with the purchase of food for takeout only, but not delivery. Unopened cans and bottles must meet federal law for sealed containers.

4) Businesses affected by these closures will establish systems that restrict in-person contact as much as possible consistent with the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, to include a limitation of the number of customers at a time to be in the premises.

The ordinance said non-essential businesses, in accordance with guidelines from CDC, such as bars and nightclubs, and other eating and drinking establishments, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys and arcades, private social clubs, and other non-essential businesses are directed to close during the prescribed time period.

All non-essential businesses and services are ordered to close and remain closed, effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 25 and continue until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, unless repealed or modified by the Mayor and City Council prior to the expiration. The council further noted that the effective dates will be re-evaluated in a week.

According to the ordinance, essential businesses and services as designated by Homeland Security, include but are not limited to food and grocery stores; food banks and outdoor farmers markets; businesses that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged people; gas stations and auto repair businesses; banks and financial institutions; hotels; hardware stores and plant nurseries; plumbers and electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers and handyman services; funeral home workers and morticians; moving services; HVAC installers, carpenters, construction workers, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security personnel and others who provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of properties and other essential activities; healthcare providers and facilities to include pharmacies; veterinarian services; transportation services; residential facilities; warehouses and distribution centers; government services; professional organizations that operate by appointment only; laundromats/laundry service; newspapers, magazines, television, radio, podcasts and other media services; and educational institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities – for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions; and provided that social distancing of six feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible, or as otherwise recommended by the CDC.

All essential businesses will be open to the public only during the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. No business will be open to the public outside of the prescribed hours above, with City Manager Ray Gibson saying the prescribed hours will give stores time to clean and re-stock. Hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and healthcare providers, pharmacies and hotels are exempt from this requirement.

Essential businesses are not considered to be social gatherings.

All businesses will make every effort to ensure adequate social distancing occurs by maintaining at least six feet of personal space or as otherwise recommended by the CDC, and providing a station(s) to wash hands with warm water and antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol, or both, according to the ordinance.

Pertaining to houses of worship, the ordinance specifies that all houses of worship will strive for density reduction in all services, whether scheduled or based upon a life event such as a funeral or baptism, and wherever practical will practice social distancing. Houses of worship are further encouraged to use social media or other video outlets to broadcast worship services, the ordinance said.

The ordinance further noted that funeral homes will also strive for density reduction in all activities and will ensure vehicles used to transport families will be thoroughly cleaned between uses in accordance with CDC guidelines. Graveside services of 10 or less participants are highly encouraged.

The ordinance is available in its entirety on Fayetteville’s website. Click here for that.

Here’s what the city’s website says about the order:

The Fayetteville City Council has declared a state of emergency for the City of Fayetteville effective Wednesday, March 25, in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday evening during a special called Fayetteville City Council meeting, Ordinance 0-4-20 was adopted, which orders all non-essential businesses and services to close and remain closed until Tuesday, April 7, 2020 or until such time as declared by any future amendment to this ordinance.

Under this new and temporary ordinance, all restaurants, and other establishments which sell food or beverages for consumption on the premises or who provide entertainment on the premises shall be closed to in-person dining, alcohol consumption, or entertainment during the term of this ordinance.

These restaurants and other establishments may offer food for take away, delivery, or for customers to eat at location(s) other than the establishment, consistent with this Ordinance.

During the term of this Ordinance any establishment licensed for the sale of beer and/or wine for consumption on the premises may sell unopened bottles or cans of beer and bottles of wine with the purchase of food for takeout only, but not delivery. Unopened cans and bottles must meet federal law for sealed containers.

Businesses affected by these closures shall establish systems that restrict in person contact as much as possible consistent with CDC guidelines, to include a limitation of the number of customers at a time to be in the premises.

NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES

All non-essential businesses and services are ordered to close and remain closed, effective at 12:01 on March 25, 2020, and continue for the term of this Ordinance, unless sooner repealed or modified by subsequent Ordinance of the Mayor and City Council.

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES

Essential businesses and services as designated by Homeland Security, include but are not limited to food and grocery stores; food banks and outdoor farmers markets; businesses that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged people; gas stations and auto repair businesses; banks and financial institutions; hotels; hardware stores and plant nurseries; plumbers and electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HV AC installers, carpenters, construction workers, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security personnel and others who provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of properties and other essential activities; healthcare providers and facilities to include pharmacies; veterinarian services; transportation services; residential facilities; warehouses and distribution centers; government services; laundromats/laundry service; newspapers, magazines, television, radio, podcasts and other media services; and educational institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities – for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions; provided that social distancing of six ( 6) feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible, or as otherwise recommended by the CDC, from time to time.

APPOINTMENT-ONLY BUSINESSES

For the purposes of this Ordinance, non-essential services will not include any business that operates primarily by appointment only, such as professional services including but not limited to attorneys, brokers, and certified professional accountants, which can demonstrate to the City, if necessary, that they otherwise comply with the Governor’s Executive Order of March, 23, 2020.

HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Houses of Worship. All houses of worship shall strive for density reduction in all services, whether scheduled or based upon a life event such as a funeral or baptism, and wherever practical shall practice social distancing. Houses of worship are further encouraged to use social media or other video outlets to broadcast worship services. Funeral homes shall likewise strive for density reduction in all activities and shall ensure vehicles used to transport families shall he thoroughly cleaned between uses in accordance with CDC guidelines. Graveside services of 10 or less participants are highly encouraged.

ESSENTIAL BUSINESS OPENING HOURS

All essential businesses shall be open to the public only during the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. No business shall be open to the public outside of the prescribed hours above. Hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and healthcare providers, pharmacies, and hotels are exempt from this requirement. All businesses shall make every effort to ensure adequate social distancing occurs by maintaining at least six (6) feet of personal space or as otherwise recommended by the CDC, and providing stations to wash hands with warm water and antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, or both.

SOCIAL GATHERINGS

The public shall adhere to CDC guidelines, as revised from time to time, related to public social gatherings. Essential businesses are not considered social gatherings.

STATE & FEDERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

The City Council further recommends that, in addition to the foregoing, all individuals continue to adhere to recommendations by State of Georgia and Federal Officials and Agencies related to health and safety during this health emergency.

“This coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything Fayetteville has faced in our nearly 200 years as a City,” said Fayetteville Mayor Ed Johnson. “For weeks now, we have followed guidance from the Georgia Governor’s office and from the Georgia Department of Public Health by informing the public of the impending health risks presented locally by this coronavirus pandemic.

“We have implemented stringent measures within our own government operations to help reduce the spread of the disease, and we have encouraged the public to do likewise,” Mayor Johnson continued. “We are now at a point, based on the latest advice given to us by the top State of Georgia authorities, to intensify our efforts to ‘flatten the curve’ and stop the spread of the coronavirus in our area.”

16 COMMENTS

  1. Point of Order: The lapel pin worn by The Honorable Mayor Johnson represents what? It does NOT appear to be the grand old flag of the United States of America. Another country perhaps? A social cause? Please enlighten.

  2. This is a good thing. Better late than never, I guess. I am surprise that our governor hasn’t done the same yet.

    This order should be extended to ALL of GA and Especially neighboring counties and town. This is serious people.

    May God bless us and have mercy on us all.

  3. Thank you, Council members for taking a proactive protection action. So many in our community are seniors with co-morbities, as are younger persons with serious medical conditions. What can we do as a community to get the necessary PPE’s for our families who work in our hospitals and ED/ER, fire fighter, and paramedics, and other healthcare, mental healthcare, and public service first responders? Anyone with thoughts?

  4. Thank you Rich Hoffman for voting no. This is totally necessary. We are using a shotgun to kill a fly. Businesses were already taking measures on their own. We have to have a middle ground here where we just don’t shut down all businesses but yet put safe guards in place. Is Fayetteville going to be able to give a economic relief package? You are essentially putting businesses out of business for good almost.

    So I guess you are relying on the Federal Government with the bailout to solve all of this?

    • I’m hoping you’re not taking any precautions. It would be rather fitting if you and those that are running around convinced that all of this is a hoax, willingly spread the virus amongst yourselves. Carry on. You won’t be missed.

      • Thats the point. Precautions should be taken, i.e. washing hands numerous times, keep the elderly/pre-existing condition people isolated, maybe limit the number of people in an establishment at one time, ect.

        We don’t need to shut down ALL businesses….BTW, no one said it was a hoax. That’s fake news…

          • Trump clearly says the Democrats’ politicization of & attempts to weaponize the coronavirus is “the new hoax.

            And all media and pundits saying otherwise are proving POTUS’s point.

          • So, he said it was a Democrat Hoax and likened it to the impeachment process and you’re telling everyone that he didn’t call it a hoax. Ok then.