GWINNETT COUNTY, GA– Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson signed a Local Emergency Order requiring face masks or coverings to be worn in all facilities that are owned or leased by the County.
The Local Emergency Order is effective from Jan. 10 until Jan. 26. At that time, Chairwoman Hendrickson may reevaluate this order based on recommendations by the CDC and the state DPH.
More than 18,566 confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported to the Georgia Department of Health from Wednesday to Thursday of this week. In Gwinnett County, the surge of positive cases has not only affected residents and private businesses — it has also impacted County government.
“As an employer, Gwinnett County has experienced a significant amount of employee absenteeism due to the spread of COVID-19 and its variants,” Hendrickson said. “Because we want to be proactive and keep essential services running without interruption to our residents, business owners and customers, we will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health and take measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 for the safety of those who visit our facilities and work in them as well.”
If an individual cannot afford a face mask, they will be provided one.
These are exceptions to the new policy:
· Individuals who have difficulty donning or removing a face mask without help
· Individuals who have a bona fide religious reason for not wearing a face covering
· Individuals who have a bona fide medical condition that will prevent them from wearing a mask
The order does not apply to:
· Privately owned businesses,
· Gwinnett court facilities,
· Gwinnett County Board of Education, or
· City governments
County Administrator Glenn Stephens acknowledged the impact of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases on the County’s workforce and announced that Gwinnett County Government’s internal policy would be updated to include a mask requirement for employees.
“It’s imperative that we do everything in our power to keep our employees healthy. They are the people who keep the water flowing, respond to emergencies, ensure our roads are safe and provide other services essential to our community,” Stephens said. “Chairwoman Hendrickson’s local emergency order and the County policy update to require masks provide our workforce with another layer of protection as they serve our residents, businesses and visitors.”