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Augusta Requiring Face Coverings

The City of Augusta has implemented a mandatory face covering executive order, to help “slow the spread of the novel coronavirus disease known as COVID-19,” Mayor Hardie Davis announced.

The executive order mandates use the use of facial coverings or masks in all “public places and all government buildings within Augusta-Richmond County,” effective July 10 at 6 p.m., for at least 30 days.

The order mandates any type of face covering for anyone over the age of 10. Violations of the order will result in a $25 fine on first offense, a $50 fine on second offense, and $100 fines for any offenses after that point.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s office responded to the Augusta order, as well as a number of other similar ones, with “the Augusta mayor’s local mask mandate is unenforceable because it is more restrictive than the Governor’s executive order. See page 39 of Executive Order 06.29.20.02. The Governor has strongly encouraged Georgians to wear masks for months now, and he will continue to do so.”

There are exceptions to the executive order, as face coverings will not be required as follows:

  1. In personal vehicles;
  2. At home;
  3. During outdoor physical activity, provided 6-feet of social distancing is being kept;
  4. While drinking, eating, or smoking;
  5. When wearing a face covering or mask aggravates a VALID health condition;
  6. When wearing a mask would prevent the receipt of personal services (like facial spa treatments);
  7. When an individual is 10 years old or younger.

“Any individual who is unable to safely wear a face covering or mask due to age, and underlying medical condition, or is unable to remove the face covering or mask without the assistance of other is exempt from this Executive Order,” the order reads.

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Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.