By: Get Georgia Well

Cities and counties across Georgia are moving to spread the use of face masks in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Brian Kemp’s Aug. 15 executive order frees municipalities to extend their own requirements related to masks:

  • Local governments will be empowered to enforce mask requirements on government property. About 100 Georgia cities already have such restrictions.
  • Governments that meet threshold requirements may extend the mandate to private properties, but only with the consent of owners or occupants.

From the state’s major cities of Atlanta and Savannah to small towns like Nashville, Thomasville and Winterville, dozens of cities around the state now require masks in public spaces. In metro Atlanta, the list of those requiring masks includes Decatur, Forest Park, Powder Springs, Sandy Springs, and Woodstock. More join the list every day.

Mask wearing is viewed by experts as the single most effective step to slow down and stop the spread of the coronavirus. In some places it’s a tough sell to convince citizens to adopt the practice. Recent studies in Illinois, however, show that highlighting the use of masks as a benefit to the health and welfare of others is often a persuasive incentive, as is the comparison to the widespread adoption of other safety devices like seatbelts and bicycle helmets.