Gov. Kemp makes local stop on ‘Wear a Mask’ tour, addresses Savannah’s mandate

Local News

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WSAV) – Georgia’s governor and health officials stopped in Brunswick on Thursday encouraging residents to follow guidance to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey have been on their “Wear a Mask” tour of the state throughout the week. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams joined them for the Southeast Georgia Health System visit with some suggestions for Georgians.

“If you want to go to spring break next year. Wear a mask. If you want to see Georgia play Florida next year. Wear a mask,” Adams said. “And I really do mean that.”

“I think what he really wanted to say was we want to see Georgia beat Florida this year,” Kemp laughed.

The governor agreed that taking precautions, including wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands, are steps that everyone can take — particularly during this holiday weekend.

“We cannot grow complacent or grow weary,” the governor said. “We have got to keep fighting.”

Governor Kemp admits that the number of COVID-19 cases within the state is increasing. What’s encouraging to him is that the number of deaths is going down.

“We just want them to help us be part of the solution not part of the problem. So just do your part as you’re out and about. Protect yourself and wear a mask,” Kemp said.

“The more we cooperate with these basic public health measures the more opportunities and freedoms we have. The fewer people who wear these the fewer opportunities we will have,” Adams said.

Dr. Kathleen Toomey with the Georgia Department of Public Health agrees with the U.S. Surgeon General. Toomey says she’s witnessed far too many people being made fun of for wearing masks particularly in the Atlanta metro area.

“People who are wearing a mask are actually ridiculed and harassed by others in the store and in fact it should be the other way around,” Toomey said.

News 3 asked Kemp about his opinion on Savannah’s mandatory mask mandate.

“Bottom line is, we don’t need a mandate for people to do the right thing,” he said, adding that his legal team was looking into the ordinance.

“The mayor and I agree on the policy,” Kemp continued. “You should be wearing a mask and that’s what I encourage people to do.”

For those who do plan to head out of the home for the Fourth of July, the surgeon general suggests getting tested for the virus next week.

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