Over the weekend, the cities of Fort Oglethorpe and Ringgold issued executive orders — scheduled to take effect at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 23 — prohibiting on-site consumption of food or drinks at restaurants, bars or similar establishments, while also banning social gatherings of more than 10 people.

Fort Oglethorpe passed its order Saturday, March 21; Ringgold passed its order Sunday, March 22.

The orders allow the businesses drive-through, take-out or delivery options.

As of Monday noon, there was one confirmed case of coronavirus in Catoosa County and no confirmed cases in Walker County. Across Georgia, as of Monday noon, there were 772 cases, with 25 deaths.

Under the Fort Oglethorpe order …

“The Mayor for the City of Fort Oglethorpe hereby declares that all bars, restaurants, or businesses that sell food or beverages for consumption on premises or that provide entertainment on premises shall be closed to in-person dining, consumption of alcohol, or entertainment until the expiration of this resolution.

“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, provided that cafeterias in hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities shall not be subject to these restrictions and may continue normal operations.

“Businesses affected by these closures shall 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.

“Furthermore, business shall 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, such business during the efficacy of this resolution only shall be authorized to sell unopened bottles, cans, or other sealed containers of beer or wine for take-out consumption off-premises.

“The Mayor for the City of Fort Oglethorpe hereby suspends the use of any County and City Parks by more than ten (10) persons in a group; however, this does not suspend the use of trails which are expressly exempted from this suspension.”

Under the Ringgold order …

“The Mayor for the City of Ringgold hereby declares that all bars, restaurants, or businesses that sell food or beverages for consumption on-premises or that provide entertainment on premises shall be closed to in-person dining, consumption of alcohol, or entertainment until the expiration of this resolution.

“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, provided that cafeterias in hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities shall not be subject to these restrictions and may continue normal operations.

“Businesses affected by these closures shall 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.

“Furthermore, business shall 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, such business during the efficacy of this resolution only shall be authorized to sell unopened bottles, cans, or other sealed containers of beer or wine for take-out consumption off-premises.

“The Mayor for the City of Ringgold hereby suspends the use of any City Parks, monument sites and recreation areas by more than ten (10) persons in a group; however, this does not suspend the use of trails which are expressly exempted from this suspension. Social distancing maintain at least 6 feet is advised between groups or individuals. The Little General’s Children Park will remain closed.”

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