During a meeting with the Jacksonville City Council Monday, March 16, Mayor Lenny Curry declared that he is limiting crowd capacity of recreational and social gatherings and establishments to 50 people. These new limits are focused specifically on unnecessary social contact — for example, at shopping malls, restaurants, bars, churches and movie theaters. While office buildings, manufacturing plants, grocery stores, and many other businesses are exempt from these new limits, Mayor Curry advises that the safest option is for employees to perform duties from home or a more isolated place if possible. The directive will take effect at 5 p.m., Monday, March 16, and follows calls for residents to adhere to the CDC’s guidelines about social distancing.
“Over the weekend, I was extremely disturbed and disappointed to see private businesses and patrons facilitating events of massive amounts of people,” said Mayor Curry. “To continue adding to the threat of rapid transmission by allowing people to cram into bars, restaurants, churches and other places of gathering is irresponsible. It must be curtailed.”
In addition to the restriction on capacity, alcohol sales will be suspended between midnight and 8 a.m. until further notice. Those who don’t follow these regulations could be shut down by the City of Jacksonville. The City is working with State and Federal partners to find solutions for business owners who may be impacted by the mandate.
As authorities continue to monitor the virus, citizens are reminded to take the necessary precautions that include:
· washing hands frequently;
· maintaining a six-foot distance from people;
· refraining from shaking hands;
· not shopping at peak times, and taking advantage of delivery and pickup services;
· avoiding unnecessary travel;
· working remotely if possible; and
· avoiding gatherings of 50 or more people.
Citizens who are experiencing symptoms or feel they may have the virus are encouraged to call or make a virtual appointment with a physician before going to a hospital or doctor’s office. Continuous updates about the local response to COVID-19 are available at JaxReady.com/Virus.