TIFTON —The City of Tifton released the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) for its shelter-in-place order:
When does the order go into effect?
The order went into effect at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 24.
How long does the order last?
The order is in place through 11:59 p.m. on April 7.
Is there a curfew?
Yes. A public curfew is imposed from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. the following morning. This does not apply to essential businesses and/or workers travelling to and from their place of employment.
What does shelter-in-place mean?
The order does not confine residents to their home as the lockdowns in Italy and China have done, but it directs residents to stay home unless participating in essential activities. Essential activities include grocery shopping, working, healthcare, caring for others – a full list can be found on the ordinance.
Non-essential activities throughout the community are temporarily suspended. Non-essential travel in and out of the community is not recommended. Citizens are advised to travel only for essential business operations, to travel to and from work and to secure essential goods and services and other exceptions found in the ordinance.
What are essential activities?
Essential activities include grocery shopping, working, healthcare, caring for others – a full list can be found on the order and at www.tifton.net.
Should my business close during this time?
The order does not require all private businesses to temporarily close,.The list of essential businesses is attached in the ordinance.
Will grocery stores remain open?
Yes, grocery stores may remain open and are not to exceed 50 percent occupancy at any given time. Persons are to observe social distancing and are not to be within six feet of one another for extended periods of time.
How do we receive updates regarding Tift County Schools and System?
Please visit www.tiftschools.com and their social media accounts for the latest information.
Will retailers and shopping centers have to close?
Yes, unless the retailer is providing an essential service.
Can production facilities and distribution centers stay open?
Yes, production facilities and distribution centers may remain open so long as social distancing guidelines of six feet are followed. Workers may travel to and from work.
If my restaurant/bar/gym limits access to 10 members or less at a time, does it have to close?
Restaurants are prohibited from providing service in their dining rooms. Restaurants may continue to provide drive through, pick up/curbside and delivery services. Bars, Nightclubs and other similar establishments are closed. Gyms and other similar businesses fall under the temporary closure order.
Are daycares required to close under this order?
No. Childcare facilities are not included in this order but should maintain social distancing. See ordinance for specific details.
Does my church have to cancel in-person service?
Yes. However, virtual worship services are highly encouraged during this time of crisis in our community.
Can we still hold funeral services?
Yes, as long as indoor attendance is limited to less than 10 persons and social distancing is observed. Outdoor/graveside services are encouraged.
My hotel has a restaurant and/or continental breakfast buffet. Should that be closed?
Yes. Food should be delivered to rooms or picked up to-go during the effective period of the order.
Are beauty and barber shops allowed to stay open?
No, does not meet social distancing guidelines of 6 feet.
Can dance studios continue classes that are limited to 10 students or less at one time?
No. A dance studio falls under the category of Indoor Recreational Facility and is subject to the requirements of the order.
Can employees of businesses not affected by the order still be allowed to come in to work, but remain closed to the public?
The order does not require all private businesses to temporarily close. The list of essential businesses is outlined in the ordinance.
Can we still maintain our dentist, eye doctor, and medical doctor appointments?
Yes. Hospitals and medical facilities are not included in the Community Gathering definition so long as persons are generally not within 6 feet of one another for extended periods. Please see the social distancing recommendations included with the order at tifton.net.
Will the City of Tifton work with people who cannot pay their utility bill due to being out of work as a result of COVID-19?
The City of Tifton will not disconnect water services. If you are unable to pay your bill, please contact the City of Tifton Customer Service Department at (229) 391-3957. As always, our staff is prepared to work with you on a payment plan for your bill.
Are parks and playgrounds still open?
Parks and playgrounds within the City of Tifton will be temporarily closed until further notice. Organized and unorganized group sports and parties are prohibited.
Will there be enforcement and how?
A violation of the order by covered businesses shall be considered ordinance violations subject to the general penalty provisions outlined in Chapter 1, Section 1-11 of the Code of Ordinances of the City. To report a potential violation of the order please call (229) 391-3937.