Schlesinger proposing legislation to stop indoor bar, restaurant service

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Macon-Bibb Commissioner Larry Schlesinger
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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb Commissioner Larry Schlesinger plans to propose legislation this week to “immediately close all bars and restaurants only for sit-down business” following Macon-Bibb’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 Thursday.

“I have asked our county attorneys to draw up legislation to that effect,” Schlesinger said in a video message sent to local media outlets Saturday night. Watch the full video here.

Schlesinger, one of five candidates (Lester Miller, Blake Sullivan, Cliffard Whitby and Marc Whitfield) qualified for the upcoming mayoral election, said the county’s first confirmed case means “we need to put the health and well-being of our families as our top priority.”

“I have high hopes that most if not all will remain open for takeout and delivery service,” Schlesinger continued. “At this point, there is a lot we don’t know, and we will continue to monitor the situation, but in an effort to slow down or prevent the spread of the virus in Macon-Bibb County, we need to take this step.”

Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert asked people Thursday to continue safeguards which include washing hands, practicing social distancing and avoiding groups of more than 10.

“We must not see today’s confirmed cases as a time to raise the level of concern or worry,” Reichert said. “But rather to confirm what we already knew was going to happen and to continue our efforts to minimize the impact.”

The mayor said he was proud of the county’s response to the pandemic.

“The steps we have taken as a community have had a major impact on our first confirmation being today rather than days or weeks ago. We have managed to blunt the curve and slow the spread of this virus and that is commendable.”

Friday, Reichert issued an advisory only administrative order asking citizens to refrain from holding indoor funeral services with more than 10 people present.

The Georgia Department of Health had confirmed 555 COVID-19 cases in the state as of Saturday at 7 p.m. 20 people had died.