August 24, 2020–9:51 p.m.
The Rome City Commission has approved a mask mandate.
The measure states that facial coverings are to be worn in public places (when social distancing of at least six-feet is not possible), which is essentially everything other than a private residence or personal vehicle.
However, businesses would be able to opt-out of the mandate.
If a private business, non-profit, a restaurant, convenience store, or other entity that is operated by someone other than the government, can choose not to enforce the mandate by putting up a sign that reads ‘This location does not consent to the enforcement of any local face-covering requirement upon this property,’”
There are other exceptions, according to City Attorney Andy Davis.
“If you’re in your residence or in your vehicle,” he said. “If you are eating or drinking, if you have a health issue or if you’re a child under the age of 10, if you have difficulty donning or removing a mask without assistance.”
The ordinance states that every effort will be made to bring an individual into voluntary compliance prior to the issuance of any notice of violation.
That will include providing complimentary masks, explaining the importance of face coverings during the pandemic, and issuing verbal or written warnings.
Provisions of the mandate were recommended by the Georgia Municipal Association which is based on guidelines set forth by the governor.