Floyd County, City of Rome and Cave Spring commissioners and council members met last night to adopt a resolution to declare a public health state of emergency in the City of Rome and Floyd County.

A joint resolution was passed to declare that all bars, restaurants, or businesses that sell food or beverages for consumption on premises or that provide entertainment on premises should be closed to in-person dining, consumption of alcohol, or entertainment. Bars, restaurants, and other businesses that sell food may offer food for take-away or for customers to eat somewhere other than at the establishment. Cafeterias in hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities are not subject to these restrictions and may continue normal operations. Businesses affected by these closures should establish systems that restrict in-person contact as much as possible, to include not permitting more than ten (10) customers at a time to be inside the premises. Such processes may include the business taking the food to the customer’s vehicle rather than the customer coming inside the business.

Businesses should ensure that all onsite consumption of food is prohibited, and that employees and contractors of the business maintain at least six (6) feet of personal distance between themselves as much as possible given the physical constraints of the premises.

If a restaurant is licensed to sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption, these businesses are authorized to sell unopened bottles, cans, or other sealed containers of beer or wine for take-out consumption off-premises.

The resolution also states that use of any County and City Park by more than ten ( 10) people in a group is not permitted; trails are still open to the public.  

Provided below are answers to questions presented by the public in response to the joint resolution.

TIMING

When did the joint resolution go into effect and how long will it last?
The resolution went into effect immediately after being passed the evening of March 19, 2020 and expires on March 31, unless extended by further action.

RESTAURANTS

Can restaurants offer take-away food?
Bars, restaurants, and other businesses that sell food may offer food for take-away for customers to eat somewhere other than at the establishment. The consumption of food on-site is prohibited (including outdoor eating areas).

Are customers allowed inside an establishment to pick up take-away food? Customers are allowed to come inside, but businesses must set-up procedures that permit no more than ten (10) customers at a time inside the premises. (Processes may include the business taking orders to the customer’s vehicle rather than the customer coming inside.) Employees need to maintain at least six (6) feet of personal distance between themselves.

Can you buy beer, wine and liquor from restaurants and bars?
Restaurants and bars that are licensed to sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption may sell unopened bottles, cans, or other sealed containers of beer or wine for take-out consumption off-premises. Liquor cannot be sold.

RETAIL

What about big box retail outlets?
Retail outlets are not included in the joint resolution.  

Are gas stations affected?
Gas stations are not included in the joint resolution.

What about grocery stores?
Grocery stores are not included in the joint resolution.

What about other business? Hair salons, nail salons, clothing stores?
Retail businesses are not included in the joint resolution.


CURFEW

Will a curfew go into place?
No curfew is currently in place; however, we would ask the community to be diligent in making sure your children are observing social distancing practices as recommended by the CDC. 


RECREATION/ENTERTAINMENT

Are theaters & bowling alleys included in this?
Yes, movie theaters and bowling alleys are included. Any businesses that sell food or beverages for consumption on premises or that provide entertainment on premises are closed to in-person dining, consumption of alcohol, or entertainment until the expiration of this resolution.

Do private clubs fall under the current restrictions?
Any business that sells food or beverages for consumption on premises or provide entertainment on premises is included in this resolution and should be closed to in-person dining, consumption of alcohol or entertainment until the expiration of this resolution.

Are parks open?
Parks are open, but groups must be limited to no larger than (10) persons.

Are trails open?
Yes, the trails are open.

Are state & national parks still open?
Yes, state and national parks are open, but groups must be limited to no larger than (10) persons.

Are gyms open?
Gyms are not included in the joint resolution, but groups should be limited to no larger than (10) persons.

MEDICAL

Are long term care facilities included?
Cafeterias in hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities are not subject to these restrictions and may continue normal operations. However, these facilities should be following Public Health & CDC guidelines concerning social distancing, practicing infection control and limiting visitors.


CHURCHES

What about churches?
Churches are not included in the joint resolution. The President of the United State has recommended that any gatherings over 10 people be discontinued.


DAYCARE

Will daycares remain open?
Daycares can remain open.


LARGE EMPLOYERS

How are employers with more than 10 employees affected?
All businesses are encouraged to follow guide lines established by the Georgia Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control.  Links to all their health information is available at: https://www.romefloyd.com/coronavirus-updates
Business can also reference CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fspecific-groups%2Fguidance-business-response.html&fbclid=IwAR0pak_kCZe897dmiQqQVZ3bh5mPJZW8T8PLvrS_WpOrO7liP1MNqIoS1U8


ASSISTANCE

Will financial assistance be available?
The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services provided by the agency and is providing online access to unemployment services, partial claim access for employers, and other reemployment services. Details on filing for unemployment for both employers and employees is available at: https://dol.georgia.gov/
Many private companies are offering payment/debt relief for services. The Rome Floyd Chamber has collated this information and is keeping it updated as a community resource available at: https://www.romega.com/business-triage

Is there any relief be given for small businesses affected by the loss of income?
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering assistance focused on many small business needs for continuity of operations including access to economic injury disaster loans. Details are available at SBA.gov/Disaster

TRANSIT

Is Rome City public transit still open? 
Rome City Public Transit is currently operating.