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In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the city of East Ridge is issuing a joint emergency proclamation and executive order which requires restaurants and bars within the city limits to be closed for on-site consumption beginning March 20.
"Our goals and hopes are that you, your family and neighbors stay healthy during this time," Mayor Brian Williams wrote in the proclamation. "This shall pass and once it does, we hope that you will patronize these businesses when they reopen."
The East Ridge order is very similar to that issued by the city of Chattanooga March 19, said City Manager Chris Dorsey, in that it allows restaurants to continue to offer pick-up, delivery and drive-thru services, as well as requires the closure of gyms and fitness centers.
"With us being in close proximity to Chattanooga, we felt it was prudent," he said of the decision to issue the order. "It takes all of us [to stop the spread of the virus]."
On March 13, East Ridge closed public spaces including its community center and library. Organized events have been canceled at Camp Jordan Park, which otherwise remains open for public use.
Dorsey said the City Council has not yet decided whether to cancel its meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 26.
As of March 19, Hamilton County had five confirmed cases of COVID-19.