Pembroke and Richmond Hill aren’t following Savannah’s lead when it comes to requiring people to wear masks in public places.
Instead, the cities are encouraging residents take that precaution themselves.
“Wearing a mask is strongly encouraged per Governor Kemp’s latest executive order,” said Richmond Hill City Clerk Dawnne Greene, who doubles as the city’s public information officer. “We have not instituted anything mandatory, nor do we plan to do so at this time. We did put together a ‘Mask Effectiveness PSA’ and launched it on our Facebook page this morning.”
Pembroke City Administrator Alex Floyd said city leaders also hope residents will wear masks “in group settings.”
Savannah Mayor Van Johnson issued an executive order Tuesday requiring people wear the masks in public spaces. Those who violate the order will be offered a mask covering, then fined $500 if they continue to ignore the order, according to various news outlets.
Kemp issued another executive order of his own Monday, extending Georgia’s public health state of emergency through Aug. 11 while continuing to require social distancing and banning gatherings of more than 50 people without at least six feet between each person.
Shelter in place requirements remain in effect for residents in long-term care facilities and the “medically fragile,” the order states. It does not require the use of masks, but “strongly encourages them.”
That order expires July 15.
The governor also announced he and Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, U.S. Surgeon General, and Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey on Thursday “will take part in a ‘Wear a Mask’ flyaround tour of Georgia, encouraging everyone to follow the guidance of public health officials to stop the spread of COVID-19 ahead of the July Fourth Weekend.”
The number of cases of COVID-19 has increased across Georgia and in the Coastal Health District, where the rolling seven day average of new cases has increased from 19.29 on June 1 to 146.6 on July 1, according to CHD data. In Bryan, the daily average of new cases has climbed from .57 to 3.71.
Recently released Georgia Public Health data showing cases by zip code has Pembroke’s 31321, which covers a good chunk of North Bryan, with only 13 cases, while the 31324 zip code covering Richmond Hill and South Bryan has 92. Ellabell’s 31308 zip code has 13 cases.