In a sweeping executive order Thursday morning, Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order demanding the closure all restaurants, bars, nightclubs, private social clubs, fitness centers, gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys and arcades to the public. The order was posted on Bottoms’s Twitter feed after 10:00 AM.
The order will go into effect at 12:00 AM on Friday.
Also, restaurants that provide delivery and takeout services will remain open. Moreover, in a later tweet, Bottoms said she signed an executive order “suspending towing and booting of vehicles in the City’s right of way,” helping establishments that are delivering meals.
I have signed an Executive Order, effective at midnight, limiting restaurants to take out service, closing bars, gyms, etc. The fate of cities across the globe will be upon soon if we do not follow recommendations on ways to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/WkO507PKIL— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) March 19, 2020
In the order, Bottoms said the coronavirus pandemic presents “an extreme likelihood of the destruction of life.” The Atlanta City Charter gives the mayor the powers to exercise “extraordinary police power in times of emergency.”
Bottoms’ order will affect about 3,000 restaurants and more than 100,000 employees, according to Karen Bremer, chief executive of the Georgia Restaurant Association. However, many restaurants have already closed. But, some bars and strip clubs have remained open to provide a diversion to antsy Atlantans, already weary from the implied quarantine brought about by the coronavirus.
Invest Atlanta says they will protect small businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. They have launched a Business Continuity Loan Fund offering small businesses zero-interest loans to address a lack of working capital and cash flows as a result of reduced consumer demand, the ability to fulfill product or service orders and other economic conditions.
Currently more than 200,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. As of today, there are 287 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia, 66 of which have been confirmed in Fulton County as the number of tests are now coming online. 37 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Cobb County, 22 in DeKalb County and 12 cases in Gwinnett County.