Mayor Van Johnson says mask mandate will be evaluated weekly

Coronavirus

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Savannah’s mask mandate will remain in place and will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis going forward, Mayor Van Johnson said Tuesday.

“The current mask mandate expires the 31st of May at 11:59 p.m. And again, that’s all we know at this point,” Johnson said during his weekly press conference.

COVID-19 statistics are heading in the right direction, but the vaccination rate is not, he added.

With mask mandates for fully vaccinated people being lifted in cities, states and retail stores across the country, responsibility relies on the honor system for citizens. With no way to visibly tell if someone is vaccinated or not, health experts are asking Americans to be honest about their vaccination status and to act accordingly.

While it’s been discussed, there are currently no efforts to require proof of vaccination cards in Georgia and most places in the country.

Nearly 190,000 doses of vaccines have been administered in Chatham County, with 31% of residents fully vaccinated. More than 36% of residents have received at least one dose of vaccine.

“That means most of us or not vaccinated. I mean, that’s the bottom line,” Johnson said. Until the vaccination rates rise, coronavirus-related safety measures will remain in place, he said.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of trust, I think it’s a matter of public safety,” Johnson said. Adding, that “of course” he trusts Savannahians, however, with tourists visiting the Hostess City there’s no way to tell where they are coming from and if he can trust them.

He hopes to decide the status of the mask mandate by next week.

Johnson said Savannahians have made serious strides battling the pandemic since May 2020.

“Wear those masks,” Johnson asked as he left the press conference.

The community spread remains moderately high, reporting 72 Monday, which means Chatham County is reporting between 50 to 100 cases per 100,000 residents. This is a slight drop from the high transmission seen for quite some time in Chatham County.

However, Chatham County’s drop to moderately high has stayed consistent for 13 days, according to the Coastal Health District.

Hospitalizations in the county total 14, similar to lows seen in June 2020. Monday, the Peach State reported 215 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths for the second day in a row.

To find local vaccine sites and information, click here.

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