Tyrone emergency ordinance approved by council

Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial. File photo.
Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial. File photo.

An emergency ordinance related to the Covid-19 pandemic was adopted March 24 by the Tyrone Town council. The ordinance, which largely mirrors current state and federal requirements, will be in effect until 5 p.m. on April 7.

The council met in chambers but spread out for social distancing and discussed what should be considered essential businesses that would be exempt from closure recommendations.

“We have a very obedient, considerate town,” Mayor Eric Dial said. Extended discussion followed about whether a local 24-hour workout gym should be allowed to remain open at all hours or whether it should be closed because of the difficulty of maintaining 6-foot separation and a limit of 10 gym patrons. In the end the council decided to recommend closure.

The council also talked about the difficulty of enforcing a mandatory ban on businesses being open.

A portion of the ordinance dealt with affected business which were specifically noted as restaurants. Pertaining to restaurants, the ordinance said:

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

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

3) 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.

4) 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.

Pertaining to the service industry, the ordinance states:

Service industry businesses — for example, hair and nail salons, barbers, those businesses providing a service requiring one-on-one contact between the provider and the client are called to immediately incorporate the aforementioned guidelines in providing services to their clients and continue for the term of this ordinance, unless sooner repealed or modified by subsequent ordinance of the Mayor and City Council.

Additionally, all services should be performed on an appointment-only basis. Consistent with this ordinance, dentists and optometrists are to provide only urgent care. Consistent with the current Executive Order from the Governor, all businesses required to close by said Executive Order (bars and nightclubs) are to be closed within the Town of Tyrone.

The emergency ordinance also addressed social gatherings and group activities: The public shall adhere to CDC guidelines, as revised from time to time, related to public social gatherings. All indoor group activities conducted for profit or otherwise comprised of physical exercise/activity, e.g., gymnasiums and exercise facilities, are called to close these locations upon the effective date of this ordinance.

Finally, the emergency ordinance called on citizens, especially those considered medically high-risk, to shelter in place except for essential activities for the duration of the pandemic emergency.

The effective date of the ordinance was March 25 through 5 p.m. on April 7, and may be re-enacted.