Dancers from the Newton Motion Dance Ensemble perform with masks on at the Covington at the Lighting of the Square in November. The Covington City Council reinstated a mask requirement at their meeting on Dec. 7.

COVINGTON – Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, effective Tuesday, Dec. 8, individuals will be required to wear a face covering at city of Covington properties. This includes the new ice skating rink at Legion Field, unless social distancing can be maintained.

While face coverings aren’t mandated on private property, City Council members are encouraging businesses to institute the mandatory mask resolution.

“With the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, we feel this is a necessary step to protect our citizens,” said City Manager Scott Andrews. “The frequency of new COVID-19 cases is alarming, and wearing a face covering is a proven way of protecting yourself and others.”

The current mandate will terminate automatically if cases per 100,000 in a two-week period fall below 100. As of the Dec. 7 report from the Georgia Department of Community Health, for the last two weeks, there were 322 cases per 100,000 in Newton County.

Masks are not required to be medical grade, so long as they cover the nose and mouth. Bandanas, scarves and other similar fabrics are allowed.

Businesses within city limits may indicate that they require masks on their property by posting a notice at each entrance accessible to the public. Masks are not required while eating or drinking, or if socially distanced at least 6 feet apart.

The Covington Police Department will enforce the ordinance on all public property and any private property that chooses to require masks. Any individual who fails to be in compliance with this order is subject to a $50 fine.

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Senior Reporter

I've worked in community newspapers for 30 years, including Editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus from 1993-1999. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016. Started as Senior Reporter at the Jackson Progress-Argus in December 2019.

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