A-CC Commissioners drop COVID emergency, mask “mandate”

Move follows decrease in coronavirus cases locally

Following the reevaluation this afternoon, Athens-Clarke County’s COVID-19 Community Level has dropped from High to Medium, allowing the mask mandate to be dropped.

From the Athens-Clarke Co government website…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lowered Athens-Clarke County’s COVID-19 Community Level from “High” to “Medium” in its latest data report on Thursday, August 4, 2022. The report, which is updated weekly on Thursday nights, first classified Athens-Clarke County’s COVID-19 Community Level as High as of Thursday, July 14.

Because of this change, masks are no longer required in public spaces or on public transportation.

Based on the Mayor and Commission’s extension of a local declaration of a local state of emergency at a Special Called Session on August 2, 2022, masks are required in public spaces and private entities, with some limited exceptions, regardless of vaccination status when Athens-Clarke County is in a high community level. Private entities must opt-in to the mask requirement as per an executive order from the governor. The current local declaration is scheduled to expire on September 7, 2022, unless renewed, amended, or rescinded by the Mayor and Commission.

CDC looks at the combination of three metrics — new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days — to determine the COVID-19 community level. New COVID-19 admissions and the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied represent the current potential for strain on the health system. Data on new cases acts as an early warning indicator of potential increases in health system strain in the event of a COVID-19 surge. Using these data, the COVID-19 community level is classified as low, medium, or high.

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