A list of frequently asked questions on the City of Rome’s website is the latest move to help residents learn more about the city’s shelter-in-place order approved earlier this week.
City Manager Sammy Rich said there was a drastic decrease Wednesday in the numbers of calls and emails from residents asking questions about the second state of emergency declaration.
But his staff continues working to answer all concerns.
The order passed by the City Commission on Monday requests people stay at home and restrict travel to essential activities only as part of the response to the spread of the new coronavirus.
“We’re getting calls about more specific issues and complaints, like whether folks feel safe at their job or wanting to know if their place of work is an essential business,” Rich said.
“If an industry is deemed essential and operating we ask that employers take precautions, like keeping employees six feet apart from customers and other employees, and not allow sick employees to come to work. We want people to take care of each other and take care of their employees.”
The webpage — on the joint Rome and Floyd County government website romefloyd.com — has links to the city’s ordinance, a Spanish translation of the order and explanations of who and what is covered under the ordinance. It will be updated regularly, according to a press release.
The Floyd County Commission passed a similar ordinance at its meeting Tuesday night. Both city and county leaders are emphasizing that residents should not call 911 to ask questions or report businesses they feel are not following the ordinance.
Call 706-236-4400 for questions about the city ordinance, or the Rome Business License Office at 706-236-4459 to ask about a business that could be in violation of the order.
For questions involving the Floyd County ordinance, call 706-291-5110. People with questions involving local existing industries in the county should call 706-291-7663.
Cave Spring Mayor Rob Ware said they have a version of a shelter-in-place order being looked over by City Attorney Frank Beacham. It’s derived from Floyd County’s ordinance. Ware said he hopes to have a called meeting of the Cave Spring City Council before the end of the week to vote on it.
“We’re definitely on board and concerned about the threats of the COVID-19 virus,” Ware said.
Violation of either the city and county’s ordinances are punishable by a fine and/or jail time as established in each government’s code, but Rich said he feels each commission’s intent is not to seek those options.
“Nobody is trying to implement a police state. We’re asking people to self-police and self-comply. But there are penalties in place,” Rich said.
“I can’t say that we wouldn’t pursue it. Any part of the rule is subject to be enforced. But my hope is that we don’t have to go through any penalty action with this. That’s my hope.”