Brookhaven bans in-person dining, declares state of emergency

The city of Brookhaven has ordered all restaurants and bars to close — except for takeout and delivery service — and declared a state of emergency to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

The decision was unanimously approved by the City Council during an emergency meeting that took place via conference call Monday afternoon.

The city, which has a population of about 55,000, has outlawed in-person dining until March 30. Restaurants that offer takeout service should not allow more than one customer at a time inside, the resolution said.

“These are extraordinary times,” Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst said. “It does require unprecedented measures.”

The declaration comes a day after the city of Atlanta declared its own state of emergency and banned gatherings over 250 people.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia reached 121 on Monday, with 10 of those in DeKalb County. A city of Brookhaven employee recently tested positive for coronavirus, prompting officials to close city hall for at least two weeks.

“The steps that we’re taking right now are mandatory for the overall health and well-being of our community,” Councilman Joe Gebbia said during the meeting.

More than a dozen states across the country, including California, Massachusetts and New York have put restrictions on indoor dining in an attempt to slow the emerging virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended a ban on gatherings of 50 people and more.