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Valdosta leaders to vote on city-wide mask mandate

Posted at 6:47 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 18:47:57-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Valdosta leaders will soon be deciding whether or not masks should be enforced within city limits.

The city added it as a discussion topic to next week's special meeting.

Valdosta Mayor Scott James-Matheson has expressed support for people wearing masks and private businesses mandating them, but not having government leaders make it a requirement.

Councilman Eric Howard says not only will it protect people with underlying health conditions, it also takes away the backlash from private businesses having to make the decision themselves.

"I see where we're on a downward turn then the numbers go back up, so all we can do is be proactive," said Howard. "I know in my community there's a lot of people that have those underlying conditions and so they want the masks."

This comes just days after Governor Brian Kemp released an executive order allowing city and counties to require face coverings.

It does have some exceptions. Fines cannot be greater than $50 for a first offense and business owners can't be held responsible for people not wearing them on their property.