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COVINGTON - Places of worship, funeral homes, and stores that sell firearms and ammunition were all added to the essential businesses list related to the COVID-19 pandemic approved by the Covington City Council on March 25.

The council also approved a plan to allow businesses in the Central Business District to be eligible for financial assistance from the city, and a program to allow up to 50 unemployed people to be temporarily employed by the city.

The March 25 ordinance required a mandatory shelter in place, prohibited public gatherings of any number, and required all non-essential businesses to cease all activities except minimum basis operations. There were 22 categories of essential businesses listed, but the council added a few more during a called emergency meeting on March 27:

• Businesses considered an essential business, must post a notice mandating six feet of separation between people at the entrance to the business.

• Places of worship are allowed to meet to create a televised, digital or audio service. There is a requested observance of no more than 10 people involved in creating the worship service. Social distancing (six feet of separation) is mandatory.

• Funeral homes can operate, but must follow the federal guidelines of no more than 10 participants at a time.

• Stores that sell firearms and ammunition are allowed to conduct business, but customers must maintain six feet of separation.

• Outdoor sporting recreation events are allowed. These include fishing, hunting and golf course activities. Social distancing guidelines must be followed.

• City parks and walking trails are open, but not equipment. A six-foot separation is mandatory.

Businesses in the Central Business District will be eligible for financial assistance from the city of Covington. Details of the DDA (Downtown Development Authority) Stabilization Program are available at

Council members also approved a Covington Cares program aimed at allowing citizens to earn a paycheck. Details are pending, but the program will allow 50 people to be temporarily employed by the city of Covington and earn $10 an hour. Hours will be capped at 25 a week. Details will be announced soon.

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Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.

(1) comment

Henry S

The federal mandate expires on Tuesday. So stop the johnny come lately so called caring people waking up when it is to late. this article pretty much proves it. it would have taken one short paragraph to point out what business need to close.

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