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Posted on: January 5, 2022

Newton County extends mask ordinance

Newton County, Georgia 1821

The Newton County Board of Commissioners approved an extension of the County’s face mask ordinance during its Jan. 4 Regular Meeting due to an increase in transmission of COVID-19.

Newton County had a 41.9 percent increase in positive PCR tests with 2,153 COVID-19 cases in a two-week period as of Jan. 4.

The Board of Commissioners (BOC) extended a mask ordinance first put in place in Aug. 18, 2020 until further notice to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The ordinance, which can be found here, states that a face mask or covering shall be worn in unincorporated Newton County and Newton County facilities in incorporated areas with the following exceptions:

  1. When Social Distancing is both possible and being actively practiced;
  2. In personal vehicles;
  3. On residential property;
  4. On private property where the owner or legal occupant of the property does not consent to enforcement of this Ordinance (there shall be a presumption of consent to enforcement unless the owner/occupant affirmatively indicates otherwise);
  5. If a medical provider has advised against the use of a face covering due to an underlying medical issue or because wearing such covering presents a health, safety, or security risk;
  6. To the extent removal of the covering is necessary to receive personal services (e.g. haircuts or makeup);
  7. To the extent removal of a covering is necessary to treat or examine a person subject to the direction of a medical professional;
  8. When consuming food or beverages; however, a face covering shall be required when interacting with others who are not at an individual's immediate table (i.e. fellow patrons, servers, staff, etc.);
  9. To the extent temporary removal of the face cloth is necessary for the purposes of verifying a person's identity for the purposes of law enforcement, purchasing alcohol, tobacco, or prescription drugs;
  10. If a person is employed and working in their capacity as a governmental professional (i.e. public safety, fire, sanitation), or medical professional and is wearing more protective equipment or is otherwise prohibited from utilizing a face covering by the policy of their employer;
  11. If an employer consults with an occupational safety and health professional who determines in writing that face coverings are not appropriate for employees, because of heat or other health related or safety concerns;
  12. If wearing a mask poses a greater mental or physical health safety or security risk such as when a person has trouble breathing, is unconscious, is incapacitated, or is unable to remove or put on the face covering without assistance;
  13. If an individual has a bona fide conscientious objection to the wearing of a face 4 covering based upon health, ethical, or religious reasons; or
  14. At any Polling Place, as defined under O.C.G.A. § 21-2-2(27), and no individual shall be denied ingress or egress to or from a Polling Place for failure to wear a face covering or face mask.

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