South Fulton mask ordinance reinstated due to resurgence of COVID-19 cases

Officials say South Fulton has a ‘disproportionally high number of COVID and monkeypox cases’
The health department is offering vaccines
The health department is offering vaccines(WDBJ7)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 12:32 PM EDT
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SOUTH FULTON, Ga. (CBS46) - Due to a resurgence in COVID-19 and monkeypox cases in South Fulton, South Fulton city council members voted to reinstate the mask ordinance when indoors at a city facility.

This requires employees and visitors to wear masks whenever they are in a city facility. However, there are some exemptions included.

South Fulton mayor khalid recently cited a current rise in COVID-19 cases in Fulton County and cites advice from Fulton County Board of Health Executive Director Dr. Lynn Paxton as reasons for revisiting the ordinance.

Officials added that the current measure provides exceptions to Georgia’s fifth largest city. It does not apply to those 10 years old and younger and those unable to safely wear face coverings because of age, underlying medical conditions or an inability to remove masks without the assistance of others.

People also are exempt when they are eating, drinking or smoking. Individuals working alone in an office with the doors closed also do not have to wear a mask.

“Dr. Paxton has suggested that we return to wearing masks indoors,” the mayor said, adding that Fulton County has a disproportionally high number of COVID and monkeypox cases. “I believe in trusting and following the science. It’s what I’ve done throughout this pandemic.”

RELATED: Fulton County starts testing wastewater for COVID-19 and Monkeypox

In July, Gwinnett County officials announced they were reinstating the mask ordinance after a surge in COVID-19 cases.

With a population of 108,000, South Fulton is Georgia’s fifth largest city and officials hope the extra precaution can help residents and visitors stay safe.

The state of Georgia now has the fifth most confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States, according to the CDC.

Out of the 11,177 total confirmed monkeypox cases in the U.S., Georgia now has 1,013. Only New York (2,295), California (1,945), Florida (1,268) and Texas (1,048) have more confirmed cases according to the CDC. Those states rank No. 4, No. 1, No. 3 and No. 2 in total population respectively.

The rising number of monkeypox cases in the Atlanta metro area has left residents and visitors on edge.

RELATED: Exclusive: Marietta woman diagnosed with monkeypox talks about her recovery

High-risk people across the country are now scrambling to get a vaccine and there aren’t enough to go around. Some clinics have stopped offering the second recommended dose to ensure there are enough first doses.

RELATED: Ga. has most monkeypox cases in southeast, it’s ‘hunger games’ for the vaccine

An additional 150,000 doses of the two-shot vaccine are now expected in September to add on to the 1.1 million doses that are already available. But that’s still only a fraction of what’s needed.

RELATED: How to prevent the spread of monkeypox

Click here to view the CDC’s 2022 U.S. Map & Moneypox Case Count