Mask mandate proposed for Macon-Bibb County

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Two Bibb County commissioners are working with the Bibb County Health Department to create a mask ordinance.

As the numbers of COVID-19 cases increase in Bibb county, Commissioners, Joe Allen and Elaine Lucas say the county needs to take action.

“Over the past week the numbers have just shot through the roof, and we are just very concerned, so we decided that we would push for a mask ordinance,” said Lucas.

District 6 Commissioner, Joe Allen drafted a 7-page ordinance and presented it to Mayor Robert Reichert Wednesday, July 8th.

Allen says the ordinance will not make masks mandatory, but they are strongly encouraged.

“The reason I wear it is that I wanna save not just my life but my family’s lives, and other people’s lives,” said Allen. “I was a firefighter for 33 years, and my job was saving people’s lives. That’s my job now as commissioner is to save lives, and that’s what I’m gonna do.”

District 3 Commissioner, Elaine Lucas would prefer that the mandate require people to wear masks while in public.

“We are going to request to mandate that all citizens would be required to use a face-covering until we get past this crisis,” said Lucas.

Commissioner Allen says enforcement of a local mask requirement would be difficult.

“The president didn’t make it mandatory. The governor did not make it mandatory. So how can we supersede what those two individuals have, and what the federal government and the state government have already done,” said Allen

Both commissioners hope that Mayor Reichartwill host an emergency meeting to approve the mandate and put it into effect as soon as possible.

If Mayor Reichart does not call an emergency meeting to approve the ordinance, commissioners will vote on the mandate during their next commission meeting on Tuesday, July 21.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.