COVINGTON, Ga. — The Covington City Council voted unanimously Monday night to cancel the fireworks display slated for Labor Day weekend due to the rising number of local COVID-19 cases.
In May, the city’s annual fireworks event was first postponed from its traditional Fourth of July date to Sept. 5, also due to the pandemic.
Councilman Kenneth Morgan said Monday that rather than delaying the event a second time, the city should consider canceling.
“At this point, we just need to go ahead and probably look at canceling it and see how things materialize before we set another date,” he said.
Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams agreed.
“I don’t see the numbers going down, even though I don’t have a crystal ball nor has the Lord told me anything,” she said. “But from the fact of numbers increasing on a daily basis, I feel like we’re in for a long haul with this (coronavirus).
“I know fireworks would give people a lot of encouragement and hope, but at this particular time I think we need to think about the lives of our people and their health rather than celebration.”
The rest of the council agreed. Mayor Steve Horton also believed canceling and remaining hopeful for 2021 was a “good plan.”
After discussion concluded, the council adopted the resolution to cancel the event.
A cancellation/rescheduling penalty of $1,500 will be paid for by Friends of Covington Fireworks, Inc.
As of Wednesday, Newton County had a cumulative sum of 1,645 COVID-19 cases — 383 cases had been confirmed in the last two weeks, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The death toll was at 36.