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Brookhaven mayor declares state of emergency, suspends dine-in service at restaurants and bars

Mayor Ernst said this applies to dining in only, so carryout orders and delivery are still options.

BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst has declared a state of emergency and banned going out to bars and restaurants city-wide. He followed the lead of a few elected officials around the country who are taking extreme measures to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

A city hall employee in Brookhaven tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Mayor Ernst said this applies to dining in only, so restaurants like Verde Taqueria are still doing carryout orders and delivery.

“We’ve been keeping up with the news trying to keep up with things and we found out midway that we weren’t able to serve any more people inside the restaurant,” said Manuel Gonzalez, the General Manager of Verde Taqueria.

Gonzalez said he hasn’t seen anything like this in his years of working at the restaurant.

Mayor Ernst’s ban will be in effect until March 30. This ban also applies to venues that entertain on-site, even if they don’t sell food.He said there’s no definitive answer to what is happening after March 30.

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“We will obviously take a look at what’s going on and follow the advice of the CDC, the state and national officials and decide if we’ll lift our in-dining ban at that time,” said Ernst.

A sign at the restaurant door explaining the situation greets customers, but Gonzalez and his staff are still doing what’s allowed and he hopes customers still support restaurants during this time.

“Our sales are definitely going to be hurt by it. We encourage people to eat to go as much as possible. We’ll be taking extra precautions to make sure we’re serving people clean, safe food,” he said.

Mayor Ernst said this is mandatory so restaurants and bars that don’t comply will be shut down by the city.

At 11Alive, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.11Alive.com/Coronavirus.

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