Macon-Bibb Commissioners approve mask mandates
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb Commissioners approved two mask mandates Tuesday.
The first ordinance, in accordance with Governor Brian Kemp’s Executive Order 08.15.20.01 that allows for local mask mandates with exceptions, requires the use of masks for citizens in all public places except under these circumstances.
(1) Upon residential property;
(2) In personal vehicles or other enclosed spaces occupied by only one person or shared only among household members;
(3) For individuals who have a bona fide religious objection to wearing a Facial Covering or Mask;
(4) For individuals who have a bona fide medical reason for not wearing a facial covering or mask;
(5) While drinking, eating, or smoking;
(6) When wearing a Facial Covering or Mask would prevent an individual from receiving personal services or performing work in the course of his or her employment;
(7) When complying with the directions of a law enforcement officer;
(8) When the temporary removal of a Facial Covering or Mask is necessary for the purpose of verifying a person’s identity, such as when purchasing alcohol, tobacco, or prescription drugs or when engaging in a financial transaction;
(9) For children under the age of two ( 2) years.
(10) For individuals who have difficulty donning or removing a Facial Covering or Mask without assistance;
(11) At any polling place, provided further that no individual shall be denied ingress or egress to or from a polling place for failure to wear a Facial Covering or Mask;
(12) When outdoors and maintaining Social Distancing; and
(13) When participating in any amateur or professional sporting event in accordance with the requirements of the operative Governor’s Executive Order.
Businesses that choose not to enforce the ordinance must post a sign on their property that says: “PUBLIC NOTICE: THE OPERATOR OF THIS LOCATION DOES NOT CONSENT TO ENFORCING FACE COVERING ORDERS ON THIS PROPERTY.” A printable sign is attached to the ordinance document.
Those found in violation will be given a warning on their first offense, be fined up to $25 on their second offense and $50 on their third offense.
Commissioners Valerie Wynn and Mallory Jones voted against the ordinance.
Face covering requirement on county property
The second ordinance, also in accordance with Kemp’s executive order, establishes face covering requirements for entry into county property.
Both ordinances are set to expire when Governor Kemp’s state of emergency expires.
The first ordinance would also expire if the county falls below the threshold requirement of 100 cases per 100,000 people over the previous 14 days. The ordinance said that as of August 17, Macon-Bibb County had a confirmed case rate of 597.4 cases per 100,000 people over the previous 14 days.
On Monday, August 24, Macon-Bibb County had a confirmed case rate of 1,079 cases per 100,000 people over the previous 14 days. 788 new cases were reported Monday. A Department of Public Health spokesperson told 41NBC the large increase was due to a release of backlog data from one of the reporting facilities.