City and county leaders debate mask mandate during COVID-19 briefing

City and county leaders debate mask mandate during COVID-19 briefing

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -For the foreseeable future, county and city leaders will gather in the commission chamber for COVID-19 task force briefings on Fridays at 10 a.m.

Different today, though, was the first speaker.

During his turn at the podium, Jon Howard, Albany City Mayor Pro Temp, asked the county to join the city in requiring all county and city citizens to wear masks outside their homes.

“I would like to- when Mr. Chris Cohilas, administrator with the commission of the county- comes up, can there be an executive order or resolution, joint with the city or the county, to mandate that citizens in this community, once they leave home, that he or she have to wear a mask,” said Howard.

County Commission chair, Chris Cohilas, says he feels a mask mandate would do more harm than good.

County Commission chair, Chris Cohilas, feels a mask mandate would do more harm than good.
County Commission chair, Chris Cohilas, feels a mask mandate would do more harm than good. (Source: walb)

“If you tell someone that they have to do something, they often resent you and they want to fight you. But if you show them, that it’s the right thing, for the right reasons, at the right time, and you gain their voluntary consent, they’ll be your biggest proponent and your biggest asset,” said Cohilas.

Although the county and city don’t seem to be issuing a joint mandate anytime soon, for those that do choose to wear masks in public, Sam Allen, director of Dougherty County EMS, demonstrated the proper way to protect yourself and others.

“A lot of people are wearing masks, and they are putting the masks below their nose. They say ‘it’s uncomfortable,’ or ‘it fogs my glasses up,’ think about this…You’re leaving your nose exposed. Where is the first place you get the coronavirus test? They test your nose! Let’s all pull together, let’s help get these numbers back down, and let’s do it by using proper handwashing techniques and by wearing a mask,” said Allen.

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