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Macon mayor issues executive order asking people to wear masks, businesses to review policies

Gov. Kemp's order does not allow counties to impose more restrictive orders, so the county is instead asking people to wear a mask instead of mandating it

MACON, Bibb County — Macon Mayor Robert Reichert issued an executive order Thursday asking for people and businesses in Macon-Bibb County to take preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We’ve seen such a drastic increase in confirmed cases in recent weeks, and – coupled with regular health issues – that has put a strain on healthcare, public safety and services, the ability for businesses to remain open, and the inability to plan properly for work and school,” says Mayor Reichert. “It’s at this point each of us as people, businesses, and organizations recognize the impact we have on each other’s health and take preventative steps.”

Since county governments cannot do more or less than what is outlined in Gov. Kemp’s latest executive order – which doesn’t include a mask mandate – Bibb County cannot order people to wear masks.

But, the county says, that does not prevent them from at least asking people to take the steps they deem necessary to contain coronavirus.

All Macon-Bibb County businesses other facilities that operate in direct contact with members of the public are being asked to:

• Adopt and enforce a policy requiring all public-facing employees, all employees that must work in close proximity to other people, and all members of the public to wear a face covering as often as practical while on the premises

• Adopt and enforce a policy denying service to any member of the public that unreasonably refuses to wear a face covering or that is openly exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19

• Adopt and enforce a policy prohibiting employees from attending work if they have a fever or are exhibiting any other symptoms of COVID-19;

• Adopt and enforce a policy prohibiting employees who have been in close contact with any person who has tested positive for COVID-19 from attending work unless and until they get a negative result on a COVID-19 test

• Adopt appropriate precautionary measures, including installing vapor-proof barriers at points of personal interaction, practicing frequent and thorough sanitization, and limiting the need to use frequently contacted surfaces however possible;

• Provide face coverings and hand sanitizer to any customers or employees who do not otherwise have access to such items when possible

• Adopt policies to mitigate the economic damage caused by COVID-19, including by providing or expanding paid sick or personal leave for employees; allowing employees who must stay away from work for an extended period of time because of COVID-19 to return to their jobs when healthy; and working with customers and tenants to allow for some flexibility in the payment of debts and rents

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