Gwinnett County

Gwinnett County employees express concerns about reinstating mask mandates

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Employees with Gwinnett County Government and Gwinnett County Schools are required to wear masks as the county has high transmission of COVID-19, along with every other county in the metro.

“We could be heading into another surge,” said Dr. Audrey Arona with GNR Public Health.

Arona is recommending more mask wearing to combat a more transmissible, but not more deadly, COVID-19 variant called BA.5.

“The indicators are really all about protecting our health care resources,” she said. “So when we move into that transmission, that gives us a warning signal that OK, public, you know, pay attention, start wearing masks.”


Gwinnett County Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson says county workers are essential and she doesn’t want to risk an outbreak.

“We want to minimize disruption,” she said. “We want to minimize our employees calling out so we have to put this in place to protect our workforce.”

Visitors at government buildings and students in schools will be strongly encouraged to wear masks but not required.

Some teachers have concerns about how reinstating mask mandates will affect how they do their jobs.

“A lot of my students have communication deficits,” said Whitney Cooper, a special education teacher with Gwinnett County Schools. “And it just hinders my ability to be able to communicate with them effectively.”