Avondale Estates City Commission repeals COVID-19 restrictionsFILE PHOTO USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES: A long time street corner vendor in unincorporated DeKalb County shifted his focus from selling t-shirts to masks, gloves and sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission, at its June 9 meeting, repealed the city’s COVID-19 restrictions that were established last year.
On March 16, 2020, the City Commission adopted several resolutions related to COVID-19. All restrictions have been repealed and services will operate as normal. These resolutions included the prohibition of public, in-person meetings. All public meetings of city boards, commission and committees moved online during the pandemic. The City Commission held its first in-person meeting on Wednesday night and will meet in-person going forward. The city is working on finding a way to provide a virtual option for the meetings.
The city also previously halted issuing event permits and suspended the municipal court. Avondale Estates typically provides backdoor sanitation collection but that was also suspended during the pandemic as to limit contact between residents and city staff.
Another resolution that was previously passed stated that if a city employee was placed on quarantine by a physician, the employee would not experience an interruption in pay or exhaustion of sick leave. The same guidance applied to employees who were isolated at home.
Additionally, on March 20, 2020, the City Commission adopted a resolution stating the restaurants and other businesses that sold food or beverages had to close for in-person dining, consumption of alcohol or entertainment. Restaurants, however, could offer carry out or delivery services. Although, restaurants opened for in-person dining months ago.
This resolution also implemented a prohibition on gatherings of 10 or more people as well as the use of public facilities, including playground equipment, benches, pavilions and water fountains. In May 2020, the City Commission reopened outdoor recreation areas to the public, which included Willis Park, the tennis courts, the benches at the lake and the pavilion at the clock tower and all other outdoor public spaces.
At that time, the city did not open the playground equipment but that will be reopened as the COVID-19 restrictions have been repealed.
The final resolutions that were repealed were an emergency shelter-in-place order and a mask mandate.
“I think effectively what we’re doing is taking something that we had put on the books in relation to COVID that had actual been overwritten by the governor but getting it off the books,” Mayor Pro Tem Brian Fisher.
While the mask mandate is no longer in effect, Commissioner Lisa Shortell clarified that businesses can still require that customers wear a mask inside a business.
“I think it’s important to clarify that businesses may still feel like they want to have people wear masks,” Shortell said. “We are taking it off our books.”
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