HIAWASSEE, Ga. – In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Towns County declared a State of Emergency on March 24, 2020, in order to protect the health of its citizens. Effective at noon on Friday, March 26 through April 6, 2020, restaurants within Towns County are ordered to close with the exception of drive-thru, delivery, or curbside service. Restrictions do not apply to hospital cafeterias, nursing homes or similar facilities.
Establishments licensed to sell beer or wine may continue to sell alcohol by the drink in sealed containers without obtaining an additional license. The sale of beer or wine, however, must be incidental to the sale of food and cannot be sold separately.
All establishments offering body care services that require bodily contact between the provider and client shall be closed for business. Businesses include barbering, hair design, cosmetology, massage therapy, tattooing, body waxing, tanning salons, and nail studios. Restrictions do not apply to services offered by a licensed healthcare provider.
The City of Hiawassee and City of Young Harris enacted identical measures. Young Harris Mayor Andrea Gibby was in attendance, and in agreeance with the actions taken. Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales announced that city services will not be disconnected for 45 days due to customer non-payment, reminding residents that bills can be paid via dropbox at city hall, online, or by check.
There are no curfews in place at this time.
Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw strongly urged citizens to remain at home unless absolutely necessary, discouraging visitors and tourists from visiting the area until the threat of the virus is under control. Bradshaw stated that the State of Emergency may extend beyond April 6, depending on circumstances, and that more stringent measures may be enforced in response to the pandemic.
Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith, Hiawassee City Clerk Bonnie Kendrick, and Towns County Health Department Manager Laura Ide attended the called-meeting.
Continue to follow FYN for dedicated coverage of the COVID-19 crisis as developments occur.