Residents in Savannah have mixed reactions to return of mask mandate

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -A familiar banner returns to Savannah City Hall.

It comes as a growing spike in coronavirus cases puts the progress we’ve made over the last several months at risk. Savannah Mayor Van Johnson announced Monday masks will once again be required in city buildings and a few other places.

It comes as more than 4,500 new cases of COVID were reported across Georgia over the weekend. That’s a return to numbers like we saw at the end of February when cases started to fall after the January spike.

Several people WTOC spoke to said they are disappointed we’re back to this point, but not surprised.

And some added they’re thankful that the city is willing to put the mandate back in place to help keep everyone safe from the growing threat of the Delta variant. Mayor Johnson did say Monday morning during the announcement that he was anticipating some pushback from those who say putting the mandate in place again is punishing those who got the vaccine already.

One Savannah man who says he’s been vaccinated says he is disappointed about the mandate coming back.

“Kind of frustrating, it feels like a little bit of a regression. Like, I always hated the mask. I understand the importance of the mask, but the vaccine is supposed to make it safer, so I don’t want to go back to breathing my breath into my eyes every day,” said resident Thomas Smith.

The Mayor also set a new goal for Chatham County residents: to get the fully vaccinated percentage up ten points, from 42 percent to 52 percent.

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