Savannah using ‘COVID Resource Team’ to help educate and enforce emergency mask order

Savannah using ‘COVID Resource Team’ to help educate and enforce emergency mask order
A Savannah city marshal patrols River Street (Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah is about a week into a pilot program aimed at enforcing the city’s emergency mask order.

The COVID Resource Team has about two-dozen City marshals that are patrolling the downtown area right now.

The Team’s mission is to educate people on, and enforce the local mask mandate.

The director of Savannah’s Office of Special Events, Film & Tourism said the recently updated order from Governor Kemp makes it easier for cities like Savannah to enforce mask mandates.

The team of 25 will cover six zones, from River Street to Liberty Street, MLK to Broad.

The COVID Resource Team is also patrolling Forsyth Park, and handing out masks to those who don’t have them.

Susan Broker, Director of Savannah’s Office of Special Events, Film & Tourism said, “The great thing to report is, people are complying. In two days we’ve talked to over 250 people on the street asking them to comply, and they’re doing so, which is exactly what we want to see.”

Nicole Bush, a Deputy City Marshal with the Office of Special Events, Film and Tourism said, “It’s just about educating, letting people know. We have a lot of tourists who are still traveling during this pandemic so we want to educate them about our local ordinance as well. And that’s what we’ve been able to do. As soon as we tell them hey guys, we have a mask mandate, they’re pulling up their mask. That includes all of our trolleys and walking tours as well.”

The pilot program is being backed by Savannah’s Office of Special Events, Film and Tourism.

Broker said it’s her goal to get CARES Act funding to reimburse the cost so no money has to come out of the general fund.

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