Valdosta launches mask campaign as Georgia coronavirus cases rise

VALDOSTA — Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson launched a “Mask Up Valdosta” campaign on Thursday encouraging Valdosta residents to wear a face covering in public as a safeguard to slow the spread of COVID-19.

City officials say the voluntary mask campaign is done in full support of Governor Kemp’s “Wear a Mask” Flyaround Tour of Georgia held earlier this month.

“We want to keep our economy open and ensure our healthcare system has the capacity to treat all patients who need medical care,” said Matheson. “My mask protects you and your mask protects me. Together, we all can stop the spread of COVID – 19.”

Health experts recommend that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

To practice social or physical distancing:

  1. Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
  2. Do not gather in groups
  3. Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.

Face coverings can be more than just masks. Scarfs, bandanas, etc. will also serve the purpose. Wearing a cloth face covering limits the spread of germs. Residents are also encouraged to wash their cloth face coverings every day.

As part of the campaign residents can take photos wearing their face covering and share via social media using the hashtag #MaskUpValdosta.

“We all have a responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe. Let’s all do our part to protect one another!” said Matheson.

As of Thursday, Lowndes County had 2,064 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 18 people had died.

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