The Rome city government closed all its facilities that involve face to face transactions, effective Monday, citing the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

In the announcement from the city, they encouraged members of the public to instead use online services.

“We’re just trying to be proactive,” City Manager Sammy Rich said. “Several departments’ employees have been positive and were around each other ... but most mission critical departments are in pretty good shape.”

One of the departments that has been hit the hardest is the building inspection office, Rich said, making it difficult to issue permits and get inspections.

The number of new COVID-19 cases, alongside the positivity rate, continue to remain high in Floyd County.

The Georgia Department of Public Health defines a high transmission area as one with 100 new cases and a 10% positivity rate within a period of two weeks. Floyd County has quadrupled that benchmark — 409 cases in that time frame as of Tuesday. It has also a positivity rate averaging between 13% and 15% in the past two weeks.

As a result, the city is looking to minimize contact while keeping operations functioning.

“Face-to-face transactions potentially increase the further spread of the virus,” Rich said. “We encourage citizens to utilize online services.”

There is online bill pay for water billing, downtown parking tickets, solid waste/landfill bills, and municipal court fees at https://romefloyd.com/pay-online. A list of city departments with contact names, phone numbers and emails is available at https://romefloyd.com/departments.

City recreational facilities, to include the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College and Stonebridge Golf Course, will remain open, but offer phone, app and online options for booking play.

City leaders recently met with local health officials concerning the increase in COVID-19 cases, according to a press release. Many committee meetings have been canceled.

The public safety committee meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday was canceled, the community development committee meeting has been postponed.

The historic preservation committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been switched to an online format.

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