Savannah Joins LA, St. Louis and Other Major US Cities in Restoring Mask Mandates

Savannah re-entered a mask mandate on Monday, following a path charted by Los Angeles County and St. Louis in an effort to halt rising COVID-19 cases.

Georgia City Mayor Van Johnson said the number of new cases had not been seen since March.

He said the latest seven-day moving average of newly reported cases was 62.6 — up from 7.3 on June 28.

“Given our current situation, based on the advice of these esteemed medical professionals behind me, I have ordered that Savannah’s mandate be reinstated with immediate effect,” he said.

Van Johnson, the mayor of Savannah, Georgia, announced Monday that his city is enacting a new mask mandate to stop the spread of COVID-19

The mayor tweeted a message informing the citizens of Savannah about the new rules

The mayor tweeted a message informing the citizens of Savannah about the new rules

On July 19, a sign was placed in the Grand Central Market in Los Angeles.  A new mask mandate came into effect on July 17th

On July 19, a sign was placed in the Grand Central Market in Los Angeles. A new mask mandate came into effect on July 17th

“How we handle this place where we are now will determine how our rest of our year returns.

“We have come too far and have done so well. Our businesses are thriving and it looks like we want to come back here.

“But as far as I’m concerned, our number one priority is the safety of our citizens, the safety of our employees. To keep our employees who work in the hospitality and tourism sector safe. And certainly keep our visitors safe.

“So it’s for me, the short- and long-term health effects associated with COVID-19 are too great.”

He begged people in his town to get vaccinated urgently, pointing out that children are currently unvaccinated and thus vulnerable.

“Anyone who has been hesitant to get the vaccine,” he said.

“Waiting to see what happens. The time is up.’

Savannah had a mask mandate until June, when the caseload dwindled and the rule was suspended.

People wear face coverings as they pass Union Station in Los Angeles on July 19

People wear face coverings as they pass Union Station in Los Angeles on July 19

Johnson’s announcement comes as Georgia is concerned about a rise in the Delta variant.

Cases are up 203 percent in the past two weeks, and the state currently has only 48 percent of the population over 18 fully vaccinated.

Savannah’s decision came the day the St. Louis area became one of the first in the United States to reintroduce mask requirements.

Despite opposition from some elected officials, face coverings became mandatory Monday in indoor public places and on public transportation in St. Louis City and St. Louis County for anyone five years or older — even those who have been vaccinated.

As in Savannah, wearing masks outdoors is strongly encouraged, especially in groups.

The decision comes as both metropolitan areas of Missouri are seeing a large rise in coronavirus hospitalizations that began in rural areas of the state, especially in southwestern Missouri.

Missouri ranks fourth nationally in the most new cases per capita in the past 14 days, according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure the number of outbreaks and deaths in the United States. measure the United States.

In Nevada, workers in Las Vegas and other parts of Clark County will again have to wear masks indoors. Under new rules, customers are not forced to do so.

People shop in Hollywood, California, on July 19 - two days after the new mask mandate

People shop in Hollywood, California, on July 19 – two days after the new mask mandate

In Alabama — the state with the lowest vaccination rate — the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized has risen to more than 900 — a number the state hasn’t seen since February.

The Alabama Hospital Association says there were 947 COVID-19 patients in state hospitals Monday, up from 204 in early July.

The latest number is about a third of where the state was at the peak of the pandemic when there were 3,000 virus patients in state hospitals in January.

The head of the hospital association says the concern is not the number itself, but the steep upward trajectory in numbers.

dr. Don Williamson said the state has the solution in the form of the vaccine, but “there is not a long line of people wanting to be vaccinated.”

Last week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican, expressed frustration at the low interest in vaccination among residents of her state.

‘People should have common sense. But it’s time to blame the unvaccinated people, not the common people,” she said on Thursday.

“It’s the unvaccinated people that let us down.”

The state of Ivey and others in the south are plagued with new infections — with three states in the region now accounting for 40 percent of active cases nationwide.

“Nearly 100 percent of new hospitalizations are in unvaccinated people,” she said on Thursday.

“And the deaths certainly happen in the unvaccinated people. These people choose a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.’

She told reporters she has done her best to fight the virus but “can’t let you take care of yourself.”

In Kay Ivey's Alabama state, only a third of residents have been vaccinated — well below the national average.  As a result, cases are increasing and deaths will follow

In Kay Ivey’s Alabama state, only a third of residents have been vaccinated — well below the national average. As a result, cases are increasing and deaths will follow

Louisiana, another state with low vaccination coverage, saw hospitals cancel non-emergency surgeries Monday to prepare for an expected increase in admissions.

Still, some struggling states are refusing to reinstate mask mandates.

The mayor of the county where Florida’s theme park mecca is located said on Monday that “we are in crisis mode” when it comes to dealing with rising numbers of COVID-19 infections.

Florida was responsible for one-fifth of new infections in the country last week, more than any other state, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Deming said Monday that the home of Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort is seeing about 1,000 new cases a day.

The state health department says more than 73,000 new coronavirus cases have been reported in Florida in the past week, nearly seven times the 12,000 reported a month ago.

Florida had 341 cases per 100,000 people in the past week — second only to Louisiana, according to CDC data.

Despite this latest wave, Governor Ron DeSantis said Florida will not return to government mandates.

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