Tift Co. sees decrease in COVID-19 cases, officials considering mask ordinance

Tift Co. sees decrease in COVID-19 cases, officials considering mask ordinance

TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - Tift County leaders are looking to move away from their current mask ordinance.

Commissioners are looking at creating a hybrid ordinance using ingredients from Tuesday night’s discussion and what’s currently in place.

Tift County’s current ordinance has been a topic of discussion since last fall. Currently, people have to wear masks in Tift County buildings to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

However, commissioners said a change may be needed as COVID-19 numbers decline within Tift County and the county no longer fits into Governor Brian Kemp’s executive orders, which helped county commissioners layout the current requirements.

They even talked about keeping the mask ordinance for another month but want to come up with an alternative.

“We could put something in place where we continue to require masks for large events and large gatherings. We could do something in between where we are now and that,” said one of the commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting.

County leaders said they want to think it over some more before making any decisions and because this was all discussed during a work session, no voting took place.

Now, let’s move over to the City of Tifton where they also have a mask ordinance in place.

WALB spoke with Tifton’s City Manager Pete Pyrzenski about the City of Tifton’s mask ordinance and the Tift County Commission potentially terminating the mask requirements.

Pete Pyrzenski
Pete Pyrzenski (Source: WALB)

“We hope to work together because we want to do the same for the community. If I learn something different that the county wants to do, then I’ll certainly bring that to the city council and we’ll adjust accordingly,” said Pyrzenski.

“So, all mask mandates you guys have implemented for the city are still in place and maybe not going anywhere?” asked WALB News 10′s Bobby Poitevint.

“Everything is still in place as it sits,” replied Pyrzenski.

Southwell health leaders said they’ve seen a “drastic decrease” in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of February.

Health officials said they have less than five COVID-19 positive patients in their care now.

They said they have been in low single-digit numbers over the last few weeks.

Since December, officials said they have given over 16,000 COVID-19 vaccines but now they’re starting to see fewer people get the shot.

CEO Alex Le believes the vaccine is working in the Tift County community but he said some people are still hesitant about the vaccines and said people are wanting to wait to see what happens next.

Le believes COVID-19 is still in the community.

“Just like flu, it’s gonna come in waves and go in waves but I think as far as the severity and sheer number of people getting it in once, I’d like to think we’re kinda on the backside of that with the vaccines,” said Le.

The Department of Public Health is currently reporting a total of almost 3,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 94 deaths in Tift County.

Those confirmed cases are still higher compared to some of Tift’s neighboring counties like Worth and Turner counties.

Le said if you’d like to schedule an appointment to get your shot, you can do so by calling (229) 353-2200.

Copyright 2021 WALB. All rights reserved.