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BV-Marion Emergency Order
expanded to limit restaurants
to take-out and delivery only

From the April 1, 2020 issue
of The Journal

   Last week the Marion County Board of Commissioners, the City of Buena Vista, and the Marion County Emergency Management Director issued an Executive Order restricting gatherings of 10 or more people county-wide and setting a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the incorporated area of Marion County in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and under the Authority of the Georgia Emergency Management Act of 1981.
   Since then, EMA Director Sam Schiro has issued an order for all restaurants and eating establishments to offer take-out or delivery only, with no dine-in options.
   Any violation of the order shall be punishable by a fine or a misdemeanor. The Sheriff's Office and Buena Vista Police Department are authorized to enforce the order.
   Buena Vista Police Chief Wendell Faulk said they have already been active enforcing the curfew and restrictive gathering directives, although there have been a few issues.
   A house party (wedding party) of 50-plus members was reported at Vista Woods Apartments last weekend. Chief Faulk said once they explained the order the party goers understood and dispersed. There has also been an issue of youth gathering to play basketball in the City Park behind the cemetery, but those have been dispersed as well.
   "So far we have just been educating and giving warnings, but if we continue to have issues we will start to write tickets and people will have to pay fines," said Chief Faulk.
   He also noted that a lot of local stores have voluntarily made the decision to close at 9 p.m., which is helping with the curfew since people don't really have anywhere to go after 9 p.m. Local clubs are also closed.
   In addition to the formal restrictions listed above, officials have issued a Voluntary Shelter at Home request, asking residents to not leave their homes or loiter, wander, stroll, or play in any public place within the county, except as follows:
   * When a person is on an errand necessitated due to an emergency;
   * When a person is traveling or returning directly home from lawful employment or otherwise engaged in lawful employment that makes it necessary to leave home;
   * When a person is engaged in interstate and intrastate vehicular travel through the County;
   * When a person is procuring essential food or medicine or seeking essential medical care or providing essential food, medicine, or medical care to another person;
   * Any other activity that may be exempted by the Marion County Emergency Management Director in his reasonable discretion.
   Possible Future Mandatory Shelter at Home Resolution: The Marion County Board of Commissioners and the Emergency Management Director may issue a mandatory shelter at home order, with appropriate exemptions, in the near future should it become necessary to protect public health and safety and encourage all citizens and businesses to take immediate action to prepare in advance for such a contingency.