West Point approves curfew, prohibits dining-in at restaurants

Published 2:03 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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By Cody Estremera

In an emergency meeting on Wednesday, the West Point City Council added four amendments to the emergency ordinance finalized on Saturday. The amendments are effective starting Thursday at 5  p.m. EST.

The biggest change is the city will have a curfew running from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. EST. The curfew does not pertain to “exempt individuals,” who engage in essential services. 

These services include fire, law enforcement, medical and hospital services, military services, utility repairs, persons seeking medical service, those traveling to their jobs as long as they have identification, delivery of food, medicine, medical supplies or fuel, retrieval or transport of bodies under the direction of funeral services, news media, employees designated by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency or critical infrastructure businesses and employees designated by the governor, Homeland Security and Infrastructure Security Agency.

“We need social distancing. People need to stay apart. We don’t need to be hanging out right now and really, it’s just to lighten the load on our police force,” West Point Mayor Steve Tramell said. “This is going to be a good thing for the police officers as they’re not going to be out there arresting people.”

Alongside the curfew, restaurants are to close their dining rooms and become dine out or pickup orders only. 

Gyms, fitness centers, indoor amusement facilities, bowling allies, pool halls, theaters, massage parlors, nail salons, hair salons, barbershops and facilities similar to these are all closed until the end of the emergency. 

Public and private gatherings of 10 or more people are now prohibited. The only time this does not come into effect is when the group is carrying out essential business, which is certified by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. 

Grocery Stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and other businesses will remain open, but they must have a sign at entrances informing clientele to maintain six feet of distance between themselves and others when possible. 

The final change dealt with the city manager. If for some reason the city manager (Ed Moon) was unable to perform his duties, he would appoint an interim city manager. If that interim is unable to perform their duties, Mayor Steve Tramell will take over the duties. 

Tramell also said in the meeting that power companies will not be turning off power while the emergency ordinance is in effect.