Spring in Marietta and The Comet Pub & Lanes in Decatur are temporarily closing again as a precaution due to a record-breaking spike in COVID-19 cases across the state. The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed the 100,000 mark in Georgia this week, with the majority of cases centered around the state’s most populous counties: Fulton, Dekalb, and Gwinnett.
The decision to close the dining room at Spring, owned by chef Brian So, came prior to the holiday weekend. Spring is pivoting to takeout and adding curbside service during the closure. According to a post on Instagram, the restaurant could reopen as soon as July 21.
“Due to the dramatic surge of Covid-19 cases in Georgia and across the country, we have decided to close our dining room for the foreseeable future. We are not sure when the dining room will reopen, or what Spring will look like when it does.”
Spring reopened for limited dine-in service in early June, reducing its already small dining room down to only five tables and requiring prepaid reservations for an eight-course tasting menu and optional wine pairings.
The Comet, which reopened for limited dine-in service and bowling three weeks ago, made the call to temporarily close over the holiday weekend. A Facebook post indicates the closure could be for at least “a few weeks,” but did not give a target date to reopen.
“When we reopened in mid-June, numbers of cases appeared at least stable, if not decreasing. Yet as the virus spread surges again, we don’t feel comfortable staying open at this time,” the post reads.
Prior to this latest temporary closure, the Comet required reservations to bowl and eat and masks to be worn by customers and staff while inside the building. Other Atlanta-area restaurants like West Egg Cafe, 8ARM, Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours, 97 Estoria, Le Petit Marche, and breweries such as Monday Night Brewing also require patrons to wear masks.
Currently, 21 states require the public to wear masks. Savannah became the first city in Georgia to require face coverings, with violators risking a $500 fine. Gov. Brian Kemp’s current emergency powers prevent local municipalities from enacting more severe COVID-19 measures. It’s unclear if the governor plans to block Savannah’s mask ordinance.
A mask mandate is being considered in Athens, home to the University of Georgia. The Athens-Clarke County Commission votes on the mask ordinance July 7. Beginning July 15, all schools and institutions within the University System of Georgia will require people to wear face coverings inside buildings when social distancing isn’t possible.
Stay home if sick. Check the Georgia Department of Public Health website for guidance and updates on the latest number of reported COVID-19 cases.