Tia Lynn Ivey
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order on April 2 mandating a statewide Shelter-in-Place order, closing down restaurant dining, theaters, concert venues, bowling alleys, and other nonessential shops in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, a highly contagious and potentially lethal upper-respiratory coronavirus ravaging the globe. Georgians are expected to stay at home and only venture out for “essential” activities such as grocery shopping, picking up takeout, buying household supplies, seeking medical or behavioral care, engaging in outdoor exercise, and traveling to work in certain circumstances.
Beer and wine is now officially available for takeout from the City of Madison’s participating restaurants until the new Shelter-in-Place order eases. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, inside dining is banned, but curbside and takeout services are still allowed. Last Friday, in light of Governor Kemp’s new statewide Shelter-in-Place order, the Madison Mayor and City Council unanimously voted to approve the sale of beer and wine sold by city restaurants for the duration of the state of emergency.
“This is a critical time,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman at the April 3 meeting. “We will allow merchants, for those who have takeout services, to sell beer and wine until this whole thing is over.”
No open containers are allowed to be sold and the new policy does not included distilled spirits, or hard liquors, but is for closed beer and wine only.
The Shelter-In-Place order went into effect at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and is set to expire on Monday, April 13 at 11:59 p.m, but could be extended depending on how the number of cases of the coronavirus in Georgia grows.
The order prohibits visitors in your home, unless the visitor is a doctor, delivery service, or someone bringing essential food and supplies to your home. People are allowed to engage in outdoor activities as long as gatherings are less than 10 people and everyone maintains at least six feet of space between them.
According to Madison City Attorney Jim Carter, violations of this order will be a misdemeanor.
According to City Manager David Nunn, City of Madison restaurants, businesses, and local citizenry have been in compliance.
“We are getting outstanding cooperation for the business and residential community said City Manager David Nunn. “People are really buckling down.”
City officials noted open stores, such as Walmart and Lowe’s are taking steps to enforce social distancing, limiting the number of people allowed in side and setting up tape to show six-foot spacing between customers.
“It really is working,” said Councilman Rick Blanton at Friday’s city council meeting. “People are trying, for their sakes and the sakes of others to avoid each other.”
Councilwoman Chris Hodges encouraged the public to use Walmart’s curbside service options during this Shelter-in-Place order.
According to Carter, the Governor’s statewide Shelter-in-Place order supersedes the city’s local state of emergency ordinance. However, the council believes the statewide order is “close” to what they had put in place.
Nunn urged citizens to take the order seriously.
“If you don’t have business outside, don’t go outside,” said Nunn.