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City Council Passes Resolution Urging Everyone Wear Face Masks

Post Date:07/24/2020 9:39 AM

On Thursday, July 23, during a Special Called Meeting, the Peachtree Corners City Council unanimously passed a resolution urging residents to wear a face mask or face covering when visiting public places, such as retail shops, grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants and other venues where people cannot practice or maintain social distancing.

Additionally, the resolution urges all businesses and organizations located within the city to require employees and customers to wear cloth face coverings in accordance with the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommendations and CDC guidelines. Those guidelines include social distancing, washing hands frequently and wearing a face mask or face covering.

By encouraging residents to wear masks while inside public places, or where maintaining a 6-foot social distance is not possible, the city council hopes that residents will do their part to stop the recent surge in cases, both within the county and statewide. This resolution does not require people to wear a face covering but is designed to encourage people to do so while visiting enclosed public places and where social distancing is not possible.

“The resolution is intended to protect our citizens and those who work in the city,” said Mayor Mike Mason. “Everyone has a right to feel safe and comfortable in public, whether it’s to go to work or to shop. Simply put, wearing face coverings in public will help protect the health of our community by reducing the spread of the coronavirus.”

Gov. Brian Kemp’s Executive Order dated April 2, 2020, while it was written to protect the health, safety and welfare of the state’s residents and visitors, it does not require face masks or face coverings be worn. However, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), maintains that one of the best ways to mitigate exposure to and the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a face mask.

On July 15, 2020 the governor issued an executive order that restricts local and county governments from passing an ordinance or law that is more restrictive that the state’s executive order. Thus, the governor’s order effectively preempts a local government from passing laws requiring that face masks be worn within its borders.

The city’s resolution also expresses strong support for the State of Georgia to either join the increasing number of states requiring residents and guests to wear face masks or to recognize the constitutional and statutory authority of local governments to enact and enforce orders, ordinances or regulations that are necessary to protect the public during a declared public health emergency, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution does not apply to those engaged in solitary outdoor activities such as walking, running or bicycling, riding in a personal vehicle and while drinking and eating. Other exceptions to wearing a face covering include children under the age of 8. The resolution also makes an exclusion for situations in which wearing face coverings would create a greater health, safety or security risk.

The resolution is effective July 23, 2020.

See full resolution below.

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF PEACHTREE CORNERS, GEORGIA

 

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City of Peachtree Corners (“City”), Georgia, are charged with the protection of public health, safety, and the welfare of the citizens of the City; and

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020 the President of the United States announced a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, on March 14, 2020 Governor Brian Kemp declared a public health state of emergency to address the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, on April 2, 2020 the Governor signed an Executive Order to Ensure a Safe and Healthy Georgia (Executive Order 04.02.20.01) that requires, inter alia, residents and visitors of the State of Georgia to practice social distancing and sanitation in accordance with guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and makes the failure to practice social distancing and sanitation in accordance thereof a misdemeanor offense; and

WHEREAS, on April 3, 2020 the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the CDC announced that, in addition to practicing social distancing and sanitation, wearing a cloth face covering in public settings represented one of the best ways to mitigate exposure to and the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, subsequent to Executive Order 04.02.20.01, the Governor has issued a series of Executive Orders which amend and revise the temporary action necessary and appropriate to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Georgia’s residents and visitors; however, to date, there is no requirement for Georgia’s residents and visitors to wear a cloth face covering in public settings in accordance with White House Coronavirus Task Force recommendations and CDC guidelines; and

WHEREAS, on July 15, 2020 the Governor issued Executive Order 07.15.20.01, that purports to suspend, with the exception of orders issued pursuant to Georgia Code Section 38-3-60 et seq., any state, county, or municipal law, order, ordinance, rule, or regulation that requires persons to wear face coverings, masks, face shields, or any other Personal Protective Equipment while in places of public accommodation or on public property, to the extent they are more restrictive than the aforementioned Order; and                                          

WHEREAS, the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) reports that on March 14, 2020, the date the Governor declared a public health state of emergency, there were 1,729 cumulative COVID-19 cases recorded in Georgia; and 

WHEREAS, GDPH reports that as of July 23, 2020 the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases recorded in Georgia has increased to 156,588, with 14,442 of those cases recorded in Gwinnett County; and

WHEREAS, as of July 23, 2020, orders requiring face covers in total or in part are in place state-wide in at least twenty-eight (28) states and in many local communities in the United States; and

WHEREAS, in increasing numbers, Georgia’s largest retailers, grocery stores, and other commercial establishments, many having locations within the City’s corporate limits, are requiring workers and patrons to, among other COVID-19 mitigation measures, wear cloth face coverings in accordance with the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommendations and CDC guidelines; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City of Peachtree Corners have determined a city-wide standard on the wearing of face coverings by the City’s residents  and visitors, is a paramount necessity to protect the community from the COVID-19 pandemic which threatens the safety and health of residents and the local economy.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Mayor and Council of the City of Peachtree Corners express strong support for the State of Georgia to either join the increasing number of states requiring residents and guests to wear cloth face coverings in accordance with the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommendations and CDC guidelines, or to recognize the authority of local governments, pursuant to their statutory powers delegated by the legislature, and the inherent power of local governments to enact and enforce orders, ordinances, rules, or regulations necessary for emergency management purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic, to include those requiring persons to wear cloth face coverings in accordance with the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommendations and CDC guidelines; and    

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Mayor and Council of the City of Peachtree Corners urge all businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations located within the City to require employees and customers to wear cloth face coverings in accordance with the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommendations and CDC guidelines; and  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Mayor and Council of the City of Peachtree Corners urge all residents and guests to wear cloth face coverings in accordance with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and CDC guidelines in any indoor or outdoor environment in which people cannot practice or maintain social distancing.

          Reasonable exceptions to the wearing of cloth face coverings include:

  • Children under the age of eight (8)
  • People who cannot wear face coverings due to diagnosed medical conditions
  • People whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering
  • While eating or drinking
  • When complying with the directions of law enforcement or for the purposes of verifying someone’s identity while banking, purchasing alcohol, tobacco, or prescription drugs
  • With family or household members in a domestic setting
  • While in a personal motor vehicle
  • While in a swimming pool
  • While speaking for a broadcast or an audience        

SO RESOLVED AND EFFECTIVE, this the 23rd day of July, 2020.