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County-wide state of emergency declared; city will not follow suit

The Lamar County commission voted unanimously Wednesday to declare a state of emergency in the county. The decision was reached at an emergency meeting at 2 p.m. which was live-streamed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The county is under the state of emergency until April 6 at noon. Restrictions: ’¢no public gatherings of more than 10 people on county property. ’¢county personnel will be classified as either ‘essential’ or ‘discretionary’. ’¢county administrator can expend funds for special and non-budgeted items. ’¢restaurants closed. they can sell takeout food, including unopened containers of beer and wine if so licensed. ’¢other closures include fitness centers, pools. social clubs, nail salons, barber and beauty shops. ’¢gatherings of more than 10 people outside a home or housing unit are prohibited. ’¢the sheriff’s office is tasked with enforcement. the penalty is a $1000 fine, 60 days in jail or both. The commission also set out its order of succession. Chairman Charles Glass is first followed by vice-chairman Nancy Thrash, who takes over if Glass is incapacitated. In the event Thrash is incapacitated, vice-chairman elect Bennie Horton, the most senior member, will take charge. UPDATE: City manager David Rose noted the county’s ban impacts only the unincorporated areas of the county that do not fall within the city limits of Barnesville and/or Milner. Barnesville has no plans for such a declaration unless ordered by the governor. Barnesville mayor Peter Banks emphasized the city is following the letter of Gov. Brian Kemp’s declaration and all the guidelines established by DPH. For much more on this story, see the 3.31.20 edition of The Herald Gazette.

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