Peachtree City bans religious gatherings over 10 persons, closes all parks, playgrounds, indoor recreational facilities

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Mayor orders restaurants to offer delivery, drive-thru and take-out food and drinks, but no dine-in for over 10 persons, violations to be a city misdemeanor — 

Peachtree City joins other Fayette County municipalities in banning gatherings of more than 10 people in any one place, including on the city’s 100 miles of cart paths.

In a video address Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Vanessa Fleisch announced her executive order that will limit more than 10 people at any gathering within the city, will close gyms, physical fitness centers and dance studios (with an under-10-person exception), will allow restaurants to continue preparing and selling food via take-out or delivery, and will shut down all bars in the city.

The exception to the under-10 rule is this: The city will allow gyms or any private facility to remain open if it admits fewer than 10 people at a time and if that under-10 group can maintain six feet of separation at all times.

Her order also incorporates state Health Department rules requiring all people with underlying medical conditions to “isolate, quarantine or shelter in place.”

The Peachtree City Police Department will enforce the rules, Fleisch said.

What her order did not do was to impose a curfew or place any restrictions on hours of operations of all other businesses — No curfew and no restrictions on hours of operation.

If the Fayette County Commission in the future authorizes a mandatory shelter at home order — in other words a general quarantine of everybody — Mayor Fleisch said the city would automatically be included in that order.

The mayor’s order lasts from 12:01 a.m. March 26 and extends indefinitely. While her order mentions that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s order set an end date of April 6, there is no end date specified in her order.

Instead, she said her order will stay in effect until she or the City Council terminates it.

Here is the text of the operative part of Mayor Fleisch’s executive order:

The provisions of this executive order shall be effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 26, 2020 and shall remain in effect until terminated by the Mayor or by resolution of the City Council of the City.

1. Limitations on Gatherings. That no business, establishment, corporation, nonprofit corporation, or organization shall allow more than ten (10) persons to be gathered at a single location if such gathering requires persons to stand or to be seated within (6) feet of another person

A. No worship services shall be held in the City if attended by more than ten (10) persons during the term of this executive order. This directive includes, but is not limited to, church services, funerals, church meals, weeknight services, Bible studies, Sunday Schools, choir practices, church meetings, deacons’ meetings, revivals, and any and all other such meetings related to worship or church services. Nothing in this executive order shall prohibit churches from live streaming services or holding services remotely as long as such live streaming or remote services do not result in more than ten (10) persons being present in violation of this executive order.

B. Indoor recreational facilities in the City, including, but not limited to, gyms, physical fitness centers, and dance studios, shall be closed for the term of this executive order except where not more than ten (10) persons are present at any one time and can maintain at least (6) feet of personal distance between themselves and others and also must implement procedures to provide the recommended personal distance at concentrated locations such as check-out registers, customer service desks, break rooms, etc.

C. Restaurants and other eating and dining establishments where food is served, shall cease offering dine-in services, including seating on patios, except where not more than ten (10) persons are present at any one time and maintain at least (6) feet of personal distance between themselves and others and also must implement procedures to provide the recommended personal distance at concentrated locations such as check-out registers, customer service desks, break rooms etc. Restaurants and other eating establishments may continue preparing and offering food to customers via delivery, drive through or take out services. If a restaurant is licensed to sell beer or wine for on-premise consumption, such restaurant, during the effective dates of this executive order only, shall be authorized to sell unopened bottles or cans of beer and wine for take-out consumption off-premises.

D. All city parks and playgrounds shall be closed for the term of this executive order. City multi-use paths shall remain open provided that not more than ten (10) persons shall be congregated together.

E. That all businesses which possess a license to operate as or otherwise meet the definition of “Bar” as defined by code Section 3-1-2(2.1) shall cease operation while this Order is in effect.

2. Persons included in Department of Public Health Administrative Order 03-22.22.01 within the state of Georiga who have serious underlying conditions likely to cause the spread of COVID-19, if such persons were to become infected, shall isolate, quarantine, or shelter in place within their homes or residences as defined within the Department of Public Health Administrative Oder 03.22.22.01 or as it may be amended in the future.

3. Violations. Any violation of this executive order shall be a misdemeanor punishable pursuant to the General Penalty of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Peachtree City. The Chief of Police of the City and her lawful officers, shall be authorized to enforce this executive order pursuant to said ordinances.

4. Authorization. This executive order is authorized pursuant to O.C.G.A. 38-3-28(a) and Section 22-3 of th eCity Code. This executive order was entered with due consideration of the orders, rules, regulations, actions, recommendations, and requests of federal and state authorities relevant thereto and to the extent permitted by law and shall be interpreted consistent with the provisions of O.C.G.A. 38-3-28(c).

5. Possible Future Mandatory Shelter at Home Resolution. The governing body of the City, in conjunction with the Fayette County Board of Commissioners and the Emergency Management Director, may issue a mandatory shelter at home order, with appropriate exemptions, in the near future should it become necessary to protect public health and safety and encourage all citizens and businesses to take immediate action to prepare in advance for such a contingency. The governing body of the City acknowledges that any such future action taken by the Fayette County Board of Commissioners shall be applicable within the corporate limits of the City upon its adoption without further action on the part of the governing body of the City.

6. All actions of the City or parts of actions in conflict with this executive order are, to the extent of such conflict, hereby repealed and set aside for the duration of this executive order or until further action of the Mayor or City Council of the City.

 

20 COMMENTS

  1. Friends & Neighbors,

    Some 50+ years ago, my generation and I were told to go to war.
    Today we’re being told to stay home for a month.

    Think about that for a while. Take a deep breath. Help your family, neighbors and the random stranger you encounter.
    We’ll get through this.

    • Well said Dave. I may add, while staying home a month read some history (its all online) and keep in touch with older relatives who lived thru some of that history and may have valid thoughts to share – like Dave.

      You can also attend a form of church online or via email.

      I do think the 18 year old who thought it was funny to cough on the produce display at the supermarket should be made to watch that YouTube I saw a couple of years ago that showed what it was like to be a pilot in a bomber in Europe in WWII. They have them for tail gunners too – many were 18. Maybe he should have to watch it every day for a year.

  2. “Another lib trying to use this as an excuse to take away our rights” ????
    People are not labels. Try to tame personal bias; doing so will increase your objectivity and you may find great increase in logic and reason based on, in the COVID-19 virus affecting our planet and its peoples, science, not political philosophical perspectives. Thank you for eye-listening.

  3. Dear Phil and Defins: The Constitution of the United States of America supports Mayor Fleisch’s decisions.
    Section 8:
    1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
    The common defence [sic] and general welfare of our nation and its citizens
    The common defense is about a global, novel virus that has no boundaries and affects humans (apparently having jumped from animal to humans, but that is not definitive yet).
    The welfare of our nation, in a WAR with a virus is to do what governors and mayors across our nation have done and are doing, protecting all of us with the scientific evidence available, that of what the CDC has recommended. Social distancing has definite boundaries; 6 feet is what we know from available data.

    Mayor Fleisch is doing her Constitutional duty and doing her best to protect you and all in the city she was elected to protect.

  4. Interesting to see another mayor give into fear from misinformed medical professionals. The collection and analysis of infection data has been abysmal with COVID-19 and it’s causing medical professionals and bureaucrats that don’t understand statistics to make fear based decisions prognosticated based on “worse” case scenarios. The real infections are orders of magnitude higher than what is being reported and the fatality rate of this disease as shown by studies in China, Italy and the NBA as startlingly low. When 80% of infected patients are asymptomatic and then only 30% of those showing symptoms actually get tested, it leads to some pretty wonky data. I hope decisions like this will be looked on by history as foolish and over-reactionary. It’s also interesting the mayor took this authority and didn’t involve the city council.

    • If the choices are over-reaction and still alive or didn’t do enough quickly enough and dead, how can you even think about spewing that nonsense? 1918 Flu outbreak – learn from history.

      Disagree? Fine, go get 11 of your friends and go out for coffee and share a muffin.

      • Nice job with the false choice if I don’t agree with you. My issue is the closing of public parks and recreation areas to the entire population regardless of its 10 people, 100 people or a family of 5. Just referencing the most recent worldwide epidemic doesn’t mean the facts of that apply to this. The 1918 epidemic was had a W shaped curve for mortality (99% of deaths were younger than 60) at a time when the world didn’t even now how to treat the flu. Now we have an epidemic that is strongly right tailed (60+) in the age distribution. We can be more effective by isolating that group for a period of time. That group doesn’t rely as heavily interaction to generate income. Broad isolation away from public spaces only continues to accrue larger health issues.

          • 86.9% of the population of the State of Georgia is under 60.

            You didn’t help your case there.

          • Staying on point about who is infected at this point, some 58% of the cases are positive for those under the age of 60, no matter the high number statistically that demographic age group (86.9%) represents. It still remains that half are young. My point is taking only the 60+ group and “isolating them for a period of time” as PTCreal suggested, makes no sense when the other half is vulnerable as well.

      • That novel flu-like virus (in 1918) infected about 27% of the world population at that time. It killed an estimated 50 million people. Here in the US, some 675,000 died. [Think about that] Now the second wave of the virus was deadlier than the first wave (possibly mutating to a deadlier strain). It caught many off guard that summer and early fall by those not heeding the official warnings. One such event was in Philadelphia where many gathered for the Liberty Loan parade (WWI). By the end of the week, all 31 hospitals were full and 2,600 were dead. Lesson learned about gathering in large groups? Obviously not, even by some today.

        • As my original post stated, we don’t really know the infection rates or true death toll because of poor data collection and testing availability. Carte blanche closing public parks to everyone regardless of size (it’s a wide chasm between a parade of 200,000 people and a family of 4 playing a game in a park), while may be cautious, isn’t warranted based on the available data. There was a great op ed in the WSJ written by two doctors yesterday discussing the reactionary nature of the responses based on the available data and the health costs of wide spread quarantines.

  5. Let me know where to donate for the law suit on this one.

    A. No worship services shall be held in the City if attended by more than ten (10) persons during the term of this executive order. This directive includes, but is not limited to, church services, funerals, church meals, weeknight services, Bible studies, Sunday Schools, choir practices, church meetings, deacons’ meetings, revivals, and any and all other such meetings related to worship or church services.

    Has she read the U.S. Constitution Article 1. I don’t see an exception:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Another lib trying to use this as an excuse to take away our rights.

    • Guys,
      Vanessa ain’t Congress. And even if she were, she’s not establishing a religion, favoring one over the other or preventing worship – she’s stopping public gatherings of all religious and non-religious types. Hard to find discrimination in something like that. Just stay home and read some history about 1918 or if you prefer fiction – Michael Crichton or Robin Cook.

      Again, what choice is there? Ignore the plethora of advice and defend the lawsuits from 25 people who died on your watch? No thanks.

      • I realize it’s only been around for 152 years, so you may have missed this, but the 14th amendment incorporated the Bill of Rights to the States. The 1st amendment includes the right to peaceably assembly. It also includes the right to the free exercise of religion. The mayor simply doesn’t have the authority to limit gatherings of any kind.

        Nobody does.