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The city of East Ridge issued a Civil Emergency and Proclamation Order on Wednesday regarding additional safety precautions and business restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a city news release. 

In addition to an earlier proclamation that closed gyms, fitness centers, and limited restaurants to carry-out or drive through orders only, East Ridge will be requiring all non-essential businesses to temporarily close. The proclamation will take effect at 11 p.m. on Thursday, March 26.

"This order basically does not permit services which require close contact," said East Ridge City Manager Chris Dorsey. "This includes businesses such as spas, beauty salons, tattoo parlors, and tanning salons. Businesses that cannot regulate social distancing requirements are also restricted, such as movie theaters, concert venues, and retail shopping malls."  

East Ridge City Mayor Brian Williams added that any business considered essential, such as "brick and mortar stores," grocery stores, drug stores, and service stations, will remain open but are asked to follow safe social distance requirements with their customers. This includes maintaining reasonable efforts to keep customers six feet apart and frequent use of sanitizing products on common surfaces. 

All public and private gatherings of more than ten people occurring outside a household are prohibited until further notice. 

For more information, go to the City of East Ridge website at www.eastridgetn.gov or contact City Hall at 423-867-7711.

The city also on Wednesday issued a public notice in accordance with Gov. Bill Lee's Executive Order No.16 permitting participation of city council members by electronic or other means of communication. Public access to the physical location of the City Council Meeting is limited solely to the following individuals: the mayor and city council members; city manager and assistant city manager; city attorney; city finance director; and city recorder.

Public access to the city council meeting will be available electronically with video/audible live access to the meeting. The public may access the meeting electronically with the following instructions:

* Live access via Facebook Live.

* Sign into Facebook at www.facebook.com.

* In the search bar, type "City of East Ridge - Government".

* Click on the link for the live meeting. 

A copy of the City Council Meeting's Agenda is available at the city's website at www.eastridgetn.gov

Since there will be no opportunity for live citizen comments during the meeting, any citizen desiring to address the City Council may submit his or her comments via E-mail to the following address: mayor@eastridgetn.gov.  Emails will only be accepted from East Ridge citizens on March 26, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

All emails must have the name and address clearly identified in the correspondence. The city will make sure that all emails are made available to members of the city council, but the city council will use discretion concerning reading emails not related to city business or do not meet ethical or moral standards. 

The video of the March 26 City Council Meeting will be accessible via YouTube on Friday, March 27, at the following City website link: eastridgetn.gov/Government/Meetings-Notices/City Video-Archive.aspx.

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