UPDATED: Cobb leadership to review Kemp executive order, which allows possible local mask mandate

Cobb County government building in article about rental assistanceCobb County government building (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

[UPDATE: an update to the original press release was issued, and the following paragraph added:

Boyce says he believes that the growing success by the business community, state and county governments along with the efforts by the Department of Public Health and other medical and health care centers to encourage the use of face masks will do more to adopt this practice than any legislative fiat.

In a press release this afternoon it was announced that over the weekend Cobb’s leadership will discuss Brian Kemp’s executive order of August 15 which allows local communities limited authority to implement mask mandates to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The news release reads as follows, and as more information becomes available, we’ll report it:

Cobb County Chairman Mike Boyce says county leaders are reviewing the latest executive order issued by Governor Kemp over the weekend that gives local governments limited authority in mandating masks. Boyce says any such order in Cobb would require the Board to go through the code amendment process and hold three public hearings.

“Issuing a mandate would place the burden on the county’s police department to enforce it,” Boyce noted. “I’m reluctant to place that burden on a department that is already understaffed and facing other challenges caused by the pandemic.”

Boyce also noted reports that even though other governments in the metro area have instituted such mandates, no citations have been issued. He plans on letting commissioners weigh in on whether they want to move forward on a countywide mandate.

The county could mandate mask-wearing in county-owned facilities. Those buildings fall under the authority of County Manager Dr. Jackie McMorris who is meeting with agency directors to discuss such a measure and how it might be enforced.

To view the Governor’s latest order and check out the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic in Cobb, visit www.cobbcounty.org/COVID19