DeKalb County mask mandate begins

DeKalb County is the latest county to enforce a mask ordinance that went into effect Saturday morning. It's part of the county's "No Mask No Service" campaign.

The ordinance requires anyone over the age of 8-years-old to wear a face-covering in public places. DeKalb County Police, Fire Rescue, Code Enforcement and DeKalb County officials helped hand out 20,000 masks on Saturday.

"We will leave no stone unturned, and we will do everything we can to protect our citizens from this virus," said Michael Thurmond, DeKalb County CEO.

County officials are making sure business owners are a part of this initiative. They're encouraging businesses to implement a no mask, no service policy. They're also asking them to have masks available for customers.

READ ALSO: Cities, counties in Georgia defying governor's order with mask mandates

"We're able to help to prevent having us to respond to an incident that has occurred because somebody was infected with COVID-19," said Darnell Fullum, DeKalb County Fire Cheif.

Susan Cooper lives in DeKalb County and started her own mask project called Mad Dash for Masks.


"We had the thought to prepare these back to school packs we're calling them which would contain three masks," explained Cooper.

Her group is collecting them for students in Clarkston schools most of which are Title 1 schools.

"Anything that the towns and cities and counties and the state ideally could do to kind of mandate masks and help protect the constituents is excellent," said Cooper.

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Despite DeKalb's mask mandate going against what the state has in place, Thurmond believes the county's ordinance would stand up in court if the state should challenge it. The ordinance also allows some provisions for anyone who has moral, ethical, or religious objections to wearing a mask.

"It's the most effective, the most low tech and quite frankly the easiest thing we can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19," said Thurmond.

First-time violators of the mask ordinance will be given a warning. Second-time violators will be ordered to take a COVID-19 education class and a find could come if the violator chooses not to take the class.

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