Savannah’s mayor weighs in on Gov. Kemp’s updated executive order on masks

BySean Evans|August 17, 2020 at 4:50 PM EDT - Updated August 17 at 6:15 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah Mayor Van Johnson weighed in on Governor Brian Kemp’s updated executive order that went into effect Sunday and lasts until the end of the month.

The Governor’s order says local governments can place a mask mandate if a certain COVID-19 case threshold is met, but not inside private businesses.

Savannah was the first municipality in the state to institute an emergency mask order. No citations have been written yet to individuals or businesses by Savannah Police for violating the mask order, though, Mayor Johnson has maintained they’re striving for compliance not punishment.

And several weeks after Chatham County joined Savannah by imposing an emergency mask order, Governor Brian Kemp signed off on allowing individual cities and counties the ability to do so.

“We knew from the very beginning that we had the right, the responsibility and the authority to be able to issue a mask mandate here in the City of Savannah. And that has not changed. So our position has not changed, cities across the state, their position has not changed and finally, he has come around quite late in the game to acknowledge what we knew all along,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

Again, according to the Governor’s order, private businesses have a choice on whether or not to enforce the mask mandate, even as Savannah’s emergency order requires them inside businesses.

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Photo: WTOC

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