COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF)- Businesses in Columbia County have stayed open during this pandemic and after a press conference county leaders had Monday morning, nothing really changed.
Businesses will now have to get a little more creative on how they operate.
Columbia County Administrator, Scott Johnson, says “to have Columbia County businesses arbitrarily shut and have people lose their livelihood, when they have the ability to operate safely, I believe is irresponsible.”
Operating businesses will have to comply with the CDC’s 10-people or less rule and keep safe sanitation or Columbia County will revoke their license.
“Our Code Enforcement staff will be working on that. We’re going to have extra staff that we are going to be bringing in. We will be spot checking businesses in addition to fielding 3-1-1 calls,” says Johnson.
NewsChannel 6’s Jenna Kelley asked, “why did you guys close down the government buildings, but not businesses?”
“Again, that was a social and responsible thing to do for us, because we feel like it was in the best interest to not have people go to these government buildings to do face-to-face transactions,” says Johnson. “That said, any business that wants to voluntarily close can voluntarily close. As Columbia County has chosen to do at this time, they can absolutely do that as well. They are just not going to be allowed to operate outside of the guidelines of the CDC.”
One of those guidelines is of course keeping a safe distance, so what about places of close contact, like salons?
“For a salon, if it is an individual one person going into a salon, with one stylist in the salon, neither one of them have symptoms, both of them have taken proper measures, there are not more than ten people in the lobby, we would expect them to be able to conduct their business,” says Johnson.
As for extra precaution, Columbia County Chair, Doug Duncan also announced a partnership with MedNow to include a testing center that will be placed in a central location.
“Since tests will be limited in the beginning, they will be ministered on an as needed basis at first, then expanded to other Columbia County citizens,” says Duncan.
They are waiting for more tests to become available. For now, the business operation guidelines are now in effect.
For a more detailed list of these guidelines you can head to Columbia County government website.