Tybee Island has ‘no plans to issue a mask mandate’

Woman wearing face mask

TYBEE ISLAND — On the heels of this week’s announcement from the neighboring city of Savannah, Tybee Island officials say their city doesn’t plan to issue a mask mandate.

However, the city is encouraging residents to get vaccinated and says city officials are monitoring coronavirus data.

“At this time The City of Tybee Island has no plans to issue a mask mandate. We will continue to monitor data and encourage our residents, businesses and visitors to get vaccinated and mask up when asked to do so,” City officials said in a social media post Wednesday morning.

Last year, Tybee Island captured statewide attention when the city closed its beaches as part of local efforts to flatten the curve only to have the beaches reopened by Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order. At the time, Mayor Shirley Sessions was an outspoken critic of the move, which she said caused a stressful situation for residents, local elected officials and city staff members.

On Monday, City of Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson II signed an emergency order requiring face coverings or masks to be worn in Savannah.

Chatham County currently averages 89 new coronavirus cases per day and reported 123 new cases Tuesday. The number of new cases is about the same as it was in July and December of last year. The county has seen 678 new cases in the last two weeks.

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