Glynn County orders many nonessential businesses to close

Business owners and residents describe Brunswick as a ‘ghost town’

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – At an emergency meeting Wednesday in response to the coronavirus, the Glynn County Board of Commissioners passed an executive order that many businesses deemed nonessential in the county be closed after 6 a.m. Thursday.

Essential businesses and other nonessential businesses not specifically listed in the executive order may remain open but should adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Nonessential businesses specifically listed in the order include establishments providing body care that is not supervised under a licensed medical professional (barbering, cosmetology, massage therapy, tattooing, waxing, tanning, nail care), pools regulated by the Department of Health and all indoor recreation, fitness and entertainment facilities (gyms, fitness classes, arcades, bowling, theaters, music venues).

Glynn County-owned recreation and park fields, courts, playgrounds and picnic areas are also closed with the exception of walking trails, dog parks, marinas and campgrounds.

All special event and public conduct permits to be held on Glynn County property through April 13 are canceled at this time. Fees will be refunded.

“A ghost town -- everywhere we go,” Brunswick resident Eddie Mobley said. “I was born here and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Restaurants will not be allowed to serve food on-premises and must only offer take out, delivery, drive-thru or curbside service orders. Unopened bottles of beer and wine are allowed for takeout, but not delivery. Driving under the influence and open container laws still apply. The take-out-only restriction does not apply to cafeterias within nursing homes, hospitals or similar places.

“I’ve never seen it like this. We’ve been here for a decade and this is definitely the first," said Jason Bates, manager of Tipsy McSway’s Neighborhood Grill, which is now only doing food deliveries and pickup orders. “We’re going down to a skeleton crew just to maintain, keep a couple of people with jobs and try to do the best we can.”

Right around the corner, Crawford Perkins is the owner of the SOGLO Guitar Gallery. He sells guitars, services them and, on occasion, plays a tune or two. But now that the threat of COVID-19 is keeping most people away from crowds, coupled with the executive order, he fears his business like so many others could be in jeopardy.

“It impacts us heavily. It’s a ghost town down here, haven’t seen a lot of business," Perkins said.

Lounges, nightclubs and bars are ordered closed to correspond with Gov. Brian Kemp’s declaration on Tuesday. Failure to comply with these orders are punishable by up to 60 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines per violation.

Essential businesses are defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The restrictions for service within these businesses are to limit groups to 10 or less and to remain at least six feet apart when working.

Deadlines will be extended for Glynn County business licenses and alcohol permits. All deadlines of any action, determination or decision required of any official, board or commission concerning the Glynn County Code of Ordinances, Glynn County zoning ordinance, and/or Glynn County subdivision regulations shall be delayed for the duration of this order and for 30 days following the expiration of this order.

As of Wednesday evening, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health, there were five coronavirus case in Glynn County and 1,387 COVID-19 cases in the state.

For concerns, call Glynn County customer service at 912-554-7111. For more information on COVID-19, go to the Georgia Department of Public Health website for more information.

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