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Bibb County commission passes mask mandate

The enforceability of the ordinance is unclear given Gov. Kemp's latest executive order specifically suspends local mask ordinances

MACON, Ga. — Bibb County commissioners have passed an ordinance that would require masks in public places with a 7-2 vote.

The vote on the ordinance happened Tuesday night during a regularly scheduled commission meeting. The two commissioners who voted against were Joe Allen and Scotty Shepherd. Valerie Wynn abstained, which counts as a yes vote.

According to the text of the ordinance, it puts a face-covering requirement in place for people, organizations and visitors in Macon-Bibb County to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Commissioner Joe Allen’s proposal said the county government has the power to make those decisions when they are “to promote or protect the safety, health, peace, security, and general welfare of said government and its inhabitants."

The only exemptions are those under the age of 10, when you are in a car or space occupied by someone who lives in your household, while eating/drinking/smoking, while exercising outside, or when it would cause or aggravate a health condition.

Breaking the ordinance also comes with penalty of a fine, with a $25 fine on your first offense, up to $50 on the second offense and up to $100 on and after the third offense.

Although the ordinance states it does not limit or discourage the enforcement of Kemp's latest executive order, the enforceability of the ordinance is still unclear since Gov. Brian Kemp’s latest executive order explicitly suspends local ordinances that call for facial coverings or masks.

Kemp said previously that ordinances in other cities and counties are in direct conflict of his order not to do anything more or less restrictive than what he himself has ordered.

So far, there is no statewide mask mandate and Kemp has held firm on his position that he does not need to implement one.


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