During a special called meeting on Tuesday, Rome City Commissioners unanimously passed a city-wide ordinance requiring face coverings..
Civil penalties for the violations of the ordinance would range from a warning for a first offense, a fine of no more than $25 for a second offense, and up to a $50 fine for any subsequent offenses.
There are numerous exceptions:
- In personal vehicles or residential property
- When a person is alone in enclosed spaces or only with other household members
- When the individual has a bona fide religious objection to wearing a face covering or mask
- While drinking or eating
- When a licensed healthcare provider has determined that wearing a face-covering or mask causes or aggravates a health condition for the individual or when such person has a bona fide medical reason for not wearing a face covering or mask
- When wearing a face covering or mask would prevent the receipt of personal services or performing work in the course of employment
- When complying with the directions of a law enforcement officer or for the purposes of verifying a person’s identity, such as when purchasing alcohol, tobacco, or prescription drugs, or when engaging in a financial transaction;
- Children under the age of ten (10) years
- When the individual is having difficulty donning or removing a face mask or face covering without assistance;
- At any polling place and no individual shall be denied ingress or egress to or from a polling place for failure to wear a face-covering or mask
- When outdoors and maintaining social distancing from anyone other than individuals with whom you cohabitate.
Businesses can also opt out, but has to post a clearly legible sign in at least one inch Arial font at all public entrances of such entity stating the following: “This location does not consent to the enforcement of any local face-covering requirement upon this property.”
The move comes after an uptick in positive test throughout Northwest Georgia.
According to Dr. Voccio, “Adventist Hospital in Gordon County has 53 beds but 21 of their patients are COVID. Cartersville has a 106-bed capacity, with 29 COVID patients and they have no critical care beds available. Floyd Medical Center has 327 beds and 63 of those are COVID patients. They only have 20% critical care beds. Redmond has 238 hospital beds and 53 are occupied by COVID patients. They have 5% critical care beds available.”
Voccio added, “The 84 people in Floyd County who have died got it from someone else. We have to protect ourselves. We have to protect our community by wearing a mask and physically distancing when able. People get COVID from other people and we need to protect each other by wearing a mask.”