Not a great day in Georgia … but appears to be somewhat better day for Cherokee County. But as you know this can all change quickly.
There are now 420 confirmed cases in Georgia and 13 deaths. The highlight for Georgia yesterday was the ability, for the first time, to surpass 2,000 tests in one day.
Yesterday Mayor Roberts participated in a conference call with an Emory Infectious Disease Specialist. This link will take you to a website where, if you choose, you can click on the “slide show” tab and review the slides that Doctor Del Rio shared with the Mayors.
Based on information we have received, and in our efforts to promote social distancing we have closed two more facilities in the City. The playground structure at Calvin Farmer Park is now closed. Research is showing the virus and survive for a significant time period on plastic surfaces. We also closed the outdoor basketball courts as large groups were gather there last night. This is in addition to the closures of the Community Center, Senior Center and City Gym that had already taken place.
Many Cities around the State have begun closing bars and restaurants. At this time Governor Kemp has stated he is not ready to do that on a statewide basis. Our fellow Cities in Cherokee are also choosing to take a “wait and see” approach, and not close bars and restaurants. The guidance we are getting from medical professionals is that this action needs to take place, but given our low population, limited seating in our current restaurants, couple with the fact that patrons would simply go to Canton or Woodstock if we closed our restaurants then we really would not be doing anything but harming our businesses. However; we are strongly encouraging our residents to practice social distancing. Order take out from our great businesses. Order home delivery where available. Use the curb side services being offered. It really is all about limiting exposure.
Along this same line, Mayor Roberts has issued an Executive Order this afternoon that allows each of our restaurants that have a current alcohol pouring license to sell sealed bottles/cans of beer and wine with their to-go orders. This information is being communicated to the restaurant owners now.
On a final note — we are asking that if you choose to dine-in at our downtown restaurants, please use the central city parking lot. Please leave the on street parking spaces for those of us who are taking advantage of the curb side to go services being offered – keeping restaurant wait staff from crossing the street.
Our Police Department has been doing an excellent job in checking on a number of our seniors and at-risk residents. If you know of someone who needs to be checked on please let me know.
Have a great weekend!
Eric Wilmarth, City Manager