Marietta has joined other cities and counties in declaring a state of emergency to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
The city’s declaration limits restaurants and other places that sell food to take-out service and closes all bars, nightclubs and private clubs. It also requires businesses to enforce federal, state and local public health officials’ social distancing recommendation of at least six feet of personal space among employees.
Marietta also limits parks and outdoor recreation facilities hours to 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., but closes playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts and other spaces where group sporting activities are held. People using park facilities are required to maintain 6 feet of personal space between other residents. The city has also halted rentals and the use of park facilities for events.
The declaration also puts on hold any zoning and land-use matters that require a public hearing. Marietta will begin enforcing the order on Thursday, March 26. It will be effective until April 10.
City Council members during an in-person called meeting Tuesday voted 5-2 to approve the resolution declaring the state of emergency. Councilman Joseph Goldstein and Councilwoman Cheryl Richardson voted against the declaration.
Richardson and Councilman Reggie Copeland did not attend the meeting at the Council Chambers, but participated through teleconference.
Goldstein said while “we have to flatten the curve” to prevent overloading the healthcare system, he couldn’t support the declaration because it goes beyond what Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered at the state level.
Richardson, who is quarantined at home while recovering from the novel coronavirus, said she was concerned about the ramifications of the city not closing its parks.
“It’s going to bring people here and we’re saying that it’s OK,” she said.
Council members also approved extending business license payment deadline to May 30 and designating 15-minute parking spaces around the Square for restaurant take-out services.
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