COLUMBIA, TN (WSMV) - The City of Columbia has declared a State of Emergency effective Monday.

Mayor Chaz Molder and City Manager Tony Massey issued the executive order following the Declaration of Emergency by Gov. Bill Lee and President Donald Trump. Columbia will adhere to recommendations and mandates handed down by Gov. Lee.

The Executive Order prohibits social gatherings of 10 or more individuals and also enacts the following provisions regarding restaurants, bars and any food or drink establishment, effective March 23 until April 6.

  • Social gatherings of 10 or more people are now prohibited;
  • All dine-in restaurant offerings are prohibited, however, drive-thru, take-out and delivery options remain in place, and this includes food and alcohol;
  • All gym and exercise facilities are hereby temporarily closed. If you are questioning whether your facility qualifies as a gym or exercise facility, operate on the assumption that it does;
  • All visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities are prohibited, and Maury Regional Health facilities are closed to visitors, as announced late last week;
  • All city sanctioned meetings and mass gatherings in the city of Columbia are canceled through the end of April 2020. At this time, we are working through the recent guidance regarding our options to meet as a city council for our April meeting;
  • This Order urges our citizens to practice the guidelines set forth by the CDC including social distancing, proper hygiene, staying at home and quarantining if sick; and otherwise exercising common sense during a moment of crisis.

“This order is the most aggressive approach our city is legally authorized to take with respect to certain aspects of business-related regulations and memorializes the Governor’s Executive Order No. 17 signed on March 22nd,” the Columbia executive order read.

“With the Governor’s Order, and also the Mayor’s Executive Order today, the restaurants can only currently offer takeout or delivery options,” said Massey in a news release. “We are relaxing our downtown parking enforcement and encourage restaurants to designate take-out parking spots in front of their businesses indefinitely at this time.”

“I would much rather be judged years from now by the fact that we overreacted in a time of crisis, rather than an underreaction. At this moment, we can’t risk an underreaction because lives are at stake,” said Molder in a news release. “I am honored to be your Mayor in the good times and in turbulent times. And, with your help, we will return to the good times in Columbia. Our best days are ahead, I am as sure of that today as ever before.”


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