Savannah mayor reinstitutes mask mandate for city after rise in COVID-19 cases

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Savannah mayor says he will require people to wear masks indoors in public places as COVID-19 cases begin to increase in the area.

Mayor Van Johnson said cases and hospitalizations have “substantially increased” since July 1.

“Daily cases are on a steep and alarming rise,” Johnson said.

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Johnson said the reinstated mask mandate, which is effective immediately, will cover indoor public places, city facilities and early childhood centers.

Johnson said he is asking the Chatham County schools to consider requiring masks for classrooms.

Johnson said the mandate will be in place until cases go back down.

“The CDC acknowledges that even fully vaccinated individuals should consider wearing a mask if community transmission rates are high,” Johnson said.

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Johnson cites a number of reasons for the rise in cases, including the circulation of the fast-spreading delta variant, low vaccination rates, large gatherings over the summer and people “letting their guard down.”

“As much as we want to put all of this behind us and put COVID-19 in our rear-view mirror, covid has not gone away and now we have a variant that’s even more transmissible,” Johnson said.

Savannah was the first Georgia city to institute a mask mandate in June 2020.

Watch the mayor’s announcement HERE.

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