Tybee Island City Council holds emergency meeting on COVID-19 precautions


TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – The Tybee Island City Council is urging businesses to take extra precautions to keep people safe. They held an emergency meeting Monday night.

Tybee Island city leaders are expressing their concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring their residents they are taking all precautions. One thing, in particular, is they will not be telling business owners to close their doors.

“We don’t feel like this is the time for us to dictate businesses,” Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions said.

Mayor Sessions along with the city council say they are preparing for what’s yet come concerning the coronavirus.

“First and foremost that we all as a community are interested in the health of each other, the visitors and beyond,” Sessions said.

She said she wanted to show the citizens and the businesses that they care and they’re doing everything they can to get ahead of the virus. Programs are being suspended and city employees will start working from home. As the threat escalates they’re ready to call on the appropriate health officials when needed.

“We also wanted to emphasize we’re not mandating anything but we wanted to emphasize how important it is for our businesses especially the bars and restaurants on Tybee to take voluntary measures to revisit their business plans to see how they can help us,” Sessions said.

“Maybe shut your hours down a little earlier. Maybe don’t make any reservations for people to come to the island. If I had my way I’d block the bridge off,” Tybee Island City Councilor, Barry Brown said.

While that won’t be happening business owners are preparing for the worst.

“Oh, it’d be disastrous. For small businesses like ours, we’re dependent on destination travel primarily. It would be the stake that they’d drive in the heart of the community,” Keith Gay with Tybee Beach Vacation Rentals said.

City leaders are asking restaurant owners to implement take out orders instead of dining in or try switching to delivery.

“They’re all dependent on this income so if you were to shut all of this down motivation to come would be minimal,” Gay said.

Mayor Sessions said the city will be sending a letter to Governor Brian Kemp asking for a mobile testing unit on the island. The city will also be suspending late fees on utility bills.

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