Mask mandate reinstated in Savannah, according to the mayor

Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 10:21 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2021 at 5:10 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The mask mandate has been reinstated in the City of Savannah.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson made the announcement Wednesday during his weekly news conference at City Hall. The mandate takes effect immediately.

In November, the mayor reduced the mask mandate to a mask advisory after the community transmission index dropped below 100 per 100,000 residents.

Now, just over a month later, the Coastal Health District’s website shows Tuesday’s index sitting at 132, well above the 100-threshold.

Rick and Karen France welcome this measure being taken to keep Savannahians and those visiting the Hostess City, like themselves, protected.

“I’m glad. I think we should be in masks. We’re vaccinated and boosted, but still, we still need to be protective of everybody especially the little ones. And we have grandchildren who can’t yet get a vaccine,” Karen France said.

Mayor Johnson said after meeting with the team of local health experts he’s consulted over the course of the pandemic, he’s heeding their advice and reinstating the mask mandate until further notice.

“We know this is the week of Christmas. And this is the time where people get together. And I am asking, I am pleading with our citizens…make sure if you’re getting with folks, get with folks that are vaccinated. And in all cases, go ahead and wear the mask. Go ahead and wear the mask. You don’t want this Christmas to be your last Christmas,” Mayor Johnson said.

The city’s mask mandate requires masks be worn in all city-owned and operated facilities. Mayor Johnson said he’s asking private business owners to participate and require masks indoors.

As of right now, upcoming events like the New Year’s Eve fireworks and Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade are still on. But the mayor said permits for any events in the public space or in city-owned facilities, like the Civic Center or new arena, could be subject to change if the COVID case count gets worse.

Below is data on COVID-19 in Chatham County provided by the Coastal Health District:

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