Rome City and Floyd County Commissioners gathered for a (socially distant) joint meeting on Wednesday afternoon at the Forum River Center in order to discuss the uptick in COVID-19 cases locally. They are currently tasked with deciding whether or not masks should be mandated.
Local health care professionals made presentations and answered questions at the meeting, each in support of mask use as a way to protect the public and to prevent community spread of the virus.
Dr. Gary Voccio, health director for the Georgia Department of Public Health, Northwest Health District, told Commissioners that we are not currently amid the second wave of the virus; this is a continuation of the first wave. Georgia is now considered a ‘red zone’ with its rise in cases by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). There is currently an average daily increase of 2,500 cases statewide, says Dr. Voccio, who strongly recommends that masks be worn by anyone out in public.
Rome Mayor Bill Collins asserts that he is in favor of a mask mandate for the city, even though such a mandate has not been issued by state officials.
Floyd County Commission Chair Scotty Hancock encourages mask usage (as well as other protective measures) for community members, although he does not think that people should be mandated to ‘do the right thing’. He adds that such an ordinance would be hard to enforce in unincorporated areas of Floyd County.
Continued discussion on a potential mask mandate is expected by each of the commissions at their respective biweekly meetings next week. Collins states that he plans to place such a mandate on first reading at the City Commission meeting on Monday evening.
Wednesday’s joint session of the Rome City and Floyd County Commissions went live and may still be viewed via the City of Rome, GA – Government’s page.