Masks still required in Savannah after CDC guidance changes

BySean Evans|April 27, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT - Updated April 27 at 7:11 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - In Savannah, a mask ordinance remains in place. Chatham County also has a similar rule, at least for now.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson was asked about his stance on the current mask ordinance and what, if any changes he’s considering for the city’s rules, afterthe new CDC guidance was released Tuesday.

Mayor Johnson was clear, that until more people get vaccinated, this sign here on city hall likely isn’t going anywhere anytime.

During Tuesday’s news conference, Mayor Van Johnson pointed to the numbers of those vaccinated in the community not being high enough to reach herd immunity just yet.

Some people downtown say the CDC’s revisions to wearing masks outdoors was a surprise, and that they will continue to take other precautions to keep themselves safe.

“I think good hand washing, keep your immune system up, and you know...yes, the distancing,” said Diana Baker, who was visiting from Florida.

As for the new CDC mask guidance, Mayor Johnson says he’s also favoring keeping the ordinance in place because of enforcement hurdles.

“How do you prove that they’re vaccinated? Am I going to waste police and COVID resources saying ‘show me your vaccination card?’ And now there’s a market I understand where people can get fake vaccination cards. So, I think again, for me, I would rather leave the mandate in place, at least for a while rather than saying, trying to determine who’s vaccinated and who’s not,” Mayor Johnson said.

The mayor says he has a close family member contract COVID-19 even after being vaccinated. He says because of that and variants of the virus still out there, he’s planning on wearing a mask until Christmas.

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Photo: WTOC

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