MACON, Ga. — Mayor Robert Reichert's order comes just two days after two county commissioners discussed requiring masks, but he says it is not a mandate.
"I use the words 'urge' and 'plead' with people to do not just the masking, but all the steps that are recommended by the Center for Disease Control," says Reichert.
On Thursday morning, Mayor Robert Reichert signed an executive order strongly suggesting that people in Macon wear masks.
"If you feel sick, stay home. Do us all a favor. If you do go out, if you don't feel sick and you do go out, then do people a favor and wear a mask, it makes them feel more comfortable," he says.
The order also lays out some precautions that private businesses should take and enforce. "They can require you to wear a mask to come in so I'm reminding businesses that they have the option to do that."
Businesses can also offer customers and employees face coverings and hand sanitizer and check temperatures .
When we asked if Reichert plans to eventually turn his mask request into a mandate, like some other cities, he says he will follow Governor Brian Kemp's lead.
"I do think to try to mandate and enforce a mask ordinance anytime people are out in public is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to enforce," he says.
Commissioners Elaine Lucas and Joe Allen pushed for a mask ordinance in this week's meeting. Lucas says she's glad there's now an order in place, but it's not enough.
"I think something even stronger is in order. If the commission sees fit to review this and come up with something stronger, then I'm certainly going to continue supporting that."
Mayor Reichert does say if Governor Kemp decides to require masks, he will go ahead and also make it mandatory in Macon.
We asked Commissioner Joe Allen his thoughts on the executive order. He says he agrees with the Mayor's decision to not mandate, but strongly suggest, wearing masks.
Here's the full text of the order:
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