HINESVILLE, Ga. (WSAV) – Hinesville’s mayor issued an emergency order Thursday in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
For two weeks, masks will be required — regardless of a person’s vaccination status –when they’re in city-owned buildings and facilities, at indoor and outdoor city-permitted events, and on federally regulated transportation, including Liberty Transit.
The order goes into effect from 8 a.m. this Monday until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 6.
Hinesville City Council also voted on guidance for assembly permits. In the same two-week period, council members will not be approving any events involving 50 or more people.
For previously approved events, organizers must submit a COVID-19 mitigation plan and provide masks and sanitization stations.
The city is experiencing its highest community transmission index to date, with 800 cases per 100,000 residents.
“According to our local public health officials, our community is in a dire situation,” Mayor Allen Brown said, adding, “This surge called for quick and immediate action.”
Under the order, restaurants, stores and pharmacies are strongly encouraged to require employees to wear a mask during face-to-face interactions with the public.
The mandate also recommends anyone entering a commercial establishment in the city to wear a face covering.
There are some exemptions to the order:
- When a person is alone in an enclosed space or only with other household members;
- During physical activity, provided the active person maintains a minimum of 6 feet from other people with whom they do not cohabitate;
- While drinking, eating or smoking;
- When wearing a face covering causes or aggravates a health condition;
- When wearing a face covering would prevent the receipt of personal services; and,
- When a person is 10 years of age or younger
City officials say they will continue to monitor the COVID situation. Additional measures and an extension on the emergency order will be considered.