The Dalton City Council has called a special meeting for Wednesday at noon to consider adopting a joint resolution with the other municipal and county governments to address the new coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in the region. A livestreaming of the meeting will be available on the city's Facebook page at facebook.com/CityOfDalton.
The new resolution takes further action beyond the measures that the city and county governments enacted on March 23 when the City of Dalton declared a state of emergency. The new resolution leaves in place all directives from the March 23 resolution. If adopted, it would also:
• Direct all people showing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus from entering any public place.
• Direct that all people in public spaces should maintain a distance of at least six feet between themselves and others.
• Require all people in groups considered “at risk” per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines including, but not limited to, current cancer patients, type-1 diabetes patients, current COPD patients, those with chronic coronary artery disease to shelter in place and refrain from being in public places.
• Order that people shall not participate in social gatherings of 10 or more people in places including but not limited to social functions, religious worship meetings, attendance at theaters, gyms or fitness centers, flea markets, yard sales or funeral services or visitations.
• Eliminate dine-in service at restaurants, bars or similar establishments including all food service permit holders from the Department of Public Health, except to offer drive-through, carry out or curbside pick up service. Cafeterias in licensed medical centers or nursing homes are exempt.
• Allow establishments with pouring beer and wine licenses to sell unopened, sealed containers of beer or wine for takeout consumption off premises. All open container laws or ordinances remain in effect.
• Order the closing of businesses that require close personal contact for the performance of the service delivered including, but not limited to, barber shops, hair salons, day spas, nail salons, massage parlors, tanning salons and tattoo/body art studios during the time the order is in effect.
• Close all children’s playgrounds, whether located at parks, school yards, apartment complexes, etc.
• Order all retail establishments except for grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies to limit the number of customers present within the business to one customer per 1,000 feet of floor space of the business. All retail businesses to include grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies will take reasonable steps to ensure customers remain six feet away from each other at all times including while waiting to enter, checkout and exit.
• Order that all businesses that remain open to the public will restrict in-person contact between public and employees and shall ensure all persons remain not less than six feet apart.
• Order that all businesses that remain open but not to the public such as manufacturing, wholesale and warehouses shall ensure that all employees remain no less than six feet away from each other at all times.
• Order all businesses and employers to take necessary steps to ensure none of their personnel are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 and to send personnel home if symptoms manifest.
• Encourage all businesses and employers, to the maximum extent possible, to provide employees with the means and equipment to perform essential job responsibilities remotely.
• Provide for violations by individuals or covered businesses of any of the orders to be considered ordinance violations of the subject jurisdiction and provide for penalties up to and including a fine of $1,000 and/or incarceration of up to 60 days.
If adopted by the city council and the other governments of Whitfield County, the new resolution will take effect at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, and end at midnight on April 30 unless amended, terminated or extended by further action by the governments.