Savannah mask mandate extended as city anticipates St. Patrick’s Day crowds

Savannah mask mandate extended as city anticipates St. Patrick’s Day crowds
A sign telling customers to wear a mask in compliance with the city ordinance in Savannah. (Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah city council made the decision Thursday to keep the current mask mandate in place until April 6.

At the end of Thursday’s city council meeting, Mayor Van Johnson said the city will be watching to make sure pandemic protocols are being followed through Saint Patrick’s Day. He is worried big crowds could cause another surge in COVID-10 infections.

“We will be out this weekend, watching this weekend, seeing what’s going on this weekend, and obviously if conditions indicate that we have to take some more restrictive action, then we’ll be prepared to do so. We want people to come, we want them to have a good time, we want them to be safe,” Mayor Johnson said. “There are some festivals, I understand, going on that are not authorized or permitted by the city.”

City officials and parade organizers agreed to pull the plug on the Saint Patrick’s Day festivities for a second year because of lingering coronavirus risks. Still, Savannah visitor bureau president Joe Marinelli says hotels in the downtown historic district could reach 90% occupancy this weekend.

Chatham County has also extended its mask ordinance through April 6.

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