June 30, 2020 - At a press conference this morning, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson announced an emergency order requiring the use of face masks in public effective at 8 a.m. July 1, until further notice.
"I do not believe that we have any other choice," said Johnson, citing an increase in cases in Chatham County. "Last Friday we were at 999, and already we have far exceeded that."
The City's order follows an extension of the statewide emergency orders, announced by Governor Kemp on June 29, 2020. Governor Kemp has also announced intentions to visit cities across Georgia in the coming days to promote the wearing of face coverings to protect against transmission of COVID-19.
Not wearing a mask is punishable by a civic infraction and a fine of up to $500.
All people entering a commercial establishment in the City must wear a face covering or mask while inside. This does not apply to religious institutions, but face coverings are still recommended.
All employees of businesses, including restaurants, hair salons, grocery stores and retail stores, must be required to wear face coverings at all time during face to face contact with the public.
There is an exemption for those unable to safely wear a mask due to age, underlying health conditions, ability, or other restrictions, but the individual will be required to determine how to demonstrate that to anyone enforcing the order.
Face coverings are not required in personal vehicles, when a person is alone in enclosed spaces, or during outdoor physical activity, provided that individuals are maintaining spacial distancing of at least 6 feet from those they do not reside with.
Children under the age of 10 are also exempt from this order.
More information on the order will be available at savannahga.gov.