Clarke County

Athens-Clarke County unanimously passes mandatory mask ordinance

ATHENS, Ga. — Athens-Clarke County commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance that requires masks to be worn in public. The ordinance goes into effect at 8 a.m. the day after the mayor signs it.

This comes a week after Savannah became the first city in Georgia to make masks mandatory. Those who violate the ordinance could face fines anywhere from $25 to $100.

There are exceptions to the ordinance:

  • In personal vehicles; religious establishments
  • When a person is alone in enclosed spaces or only with other household members;
  • During outdoor physical activity, provided the active person maintains a minimum of 6 feet
  • While drinking, eating, or smoking
  • When wearing a face covering causes or aggravates a health condition
  • When wearing a face covering would prevent the receipt of personal services
  • When a person is 10 years of age or younger

East Point officials also approved mask requirements for the city, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Gov. Brian Kemp held a conference call with Georgia mayors and county commissioners this afternoon. Kemp has said several times he has not considered issuing a statewide mask order at this time.

“We don’t need a mandate to have Georgians do the right thing. But we do need to build strong public support,” Kemp said. “Let’s work together with a unified voice to remind Georgians what’s effective and important in this fight.”

On Tuesday, Georgia saw its second highest single-day increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.