Rome City Commission, in a unanimous vote, renews face covering ordinance through Feb. 8.

Rome City Commission, in a unanimous vote, renews face covering ordinance through Feb. 8.

Rome city commissioners have voted to extending the face mask mandate emergency order for another 30 days. The unanimous vote came after 1:30 p.m. Friday via a Zoom meeting. You can watch a replay above.
The meeting started with City Commissioner Mark Cochran asking Dr. Gary Voccio, Northwest Georgia Publlic Health director, to brief the commission on Monday’s signup for vaccination registration (those in Phase A-plus including healthcare workers, first responders and those 65 and older).
Commissioner Jim Bojo says the city is “swimming up the stream” because some people aren’t listening to requirements for people to wear masks in Rome. He wants stricter enforcement.
Commissioner Craig McDaniel, the city’s pro tem, says some people thought the restrictions were in part to work toward closing businesses. That’s what the ordinanace is trying to prevent, he said. McDaniel recommended the city work with the Rome Floyd Chamber to expand compliance. “The county has not gotten on board yet. The county has had a strong recommendation,” says McDaniel.
Commissioner Wendy Davis says there’s an impression the city won’t enforce. She questioned the county’s cooperation within its buildings in city limits.
City Attorney Andy Davis walked the commissioners through the extended ordinance.
Commissioner Bonny Askew wondered if the city should be distribuing masks, something more than the “temp” blue ones.

Commissioner Jamie Doss said, “I think we’re going the proper steps, adding that he wishes the county “would follow suit.”

Commissioner Sundai Stevenson also wants stronger enforcement — and the city should be offering masks to those not wearing them.
Mayor Bill Collins said in his talk with Dr. Ken Jones, medical director of Floyd Medical Center, the concern has been having the healthcare workers to help treat the rising number of patients.
Additional details soon.

 

 


DEC. 17 UPDATE

From the city: On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Rome City Commission declared that a local state of emergency continues to exist within the geographical limits of the City of Rome and for the protection of members of the public, face coverings or masks shall be required within the City to slow the spread of COVID- 19. In response to questions and comments received from concerned businesses and citizens, clarifications on the face covering ordinance are provided below.

What is required of my business if we do not consent to the enforcement of the local ordinance? 
Your business must post a clearly legible sign in at least one inch Arial font at all public entrances of the business that states: “This location does not consent to enforcement of any local face covering requirement upon this property.”

If my business does not consent to the enforcement of the local ordinance, are my employees still required to wear a mask? 
The ordinance (and the Governor’s Order on December 8, 2020) both state that all restaurants, retail stores, salons, grocery stores, and pharmacies must require their employees to wear a face covering at all times while having face-to-face interaction with the public.  The City of Rome face covering ordinance does not supersede any requirements of the Governor’s Order.  Customers are not required to wear a mask at businesses that do not consent to the enforcement of the ordinance.

What happens if a customer at my business receives a warning or violation for not following the ordinance, will my business be fined?
The individual who does not comply with the ordinance is the person held accountable. Business owners do not receive a violation when their customers do not comply with this ordinance. For individuals who do not comply with the ordinance, every effort will be made to bring an individual into voluntary compliance including providing complimentary masks, explaining the importance of wearing face coverings during this pandemic, and issuing verbal and written warnings.

What happens if I receive a warning in violation of the ordinance, but I cannot afford a face covering?
Any person who is found in violation of this Ordinance and who cannot afford a face mask or face covering shall be provided one.

How can I promote the wearing of face coverings at my business and also promote that we follow safety protocols to help stop the spread of COVID-19?
Take the Rome GA Safe Pledge! By taking the pledge, you will gain access to a toolkit of printable graphics for display, and your business will be listed on RomeGASafe.com. By taking the pledge, you show your commitment to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by following cleaning and disinfecting protocols to help ensure the health and safety of everyone in your places of business. Visit RomeGASafe.com to take the pledge and view other businesses who have pledged.

How long is the City of Rome face covering mandate in effect?
The ordinance remains in effect until Jan. 8, 2021.

Where can I find a copy of the ordinance?
The ordinance is available in English and Spanish on the Covid-19 Update Web page located at: https://www.romefloyd.com/coronavirus-updates

The City of Rome will continue to partner with local healthcare leaders to address the COVID-19 virus in the community. Local government COVID-19 updates and resources are available at: https://www.romefloyd.com/coronavirus-updates


ORIGINAL POST

Media release: The City of Rome remains diligent and proactive in its efforts to support community mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 virus. The city has partnered with local healthcare leaders to launch the Rome GA Safe pledge program to help protect our citizens, visitors and healthcare workers.  Local healthcare partners include: Georgia Department of Public Health, Floyd Medical Center, Harbin Clinic and Redmond Regional Medical Center. All area business are invited to take the Rome GA Safe Pledge.

RomeGaSafe.com has been created for pledging and viewing pledges. By taking the pledge, businesses commit to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by following cleaning and disinfecting  protocols to help ensure the health and safety of everyone. Businesses who make the pledge will receive access to a toolkit of printable graphics for display at their business. Each business will also be listed on the pledge web page. These businesses will be added to a list available via links to these websites: City of Rome, Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism and Downtown Rome.

“We encourage every business to take the pledge to keep health and safety top of mind for everyone and to communicate the importance of following safety protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Rome City Manager Sammy Rich.

Northwest Georgia continues to see increasing numbers of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Local officials have stressed the importance of being mindful of precautions to help lower transmission and to prevent overwhelming our medical facilities.

“While practicing safe physical distancing  —  even when wearing a mask  —  remains the single most important risk-reduction action we can take,” says Dr. Gary Voccio, health director for the ten-county Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest District, “I strongly support and encourage the use of masks by the general public to help reduce the transmission of coronavirus in our community. I wear one myself when I’m out in public. In areas where face coverings are mandated, the public should follow the mandate and wear them. We must do everything we can as individuals and as a community to protect ourselves, look after others, and prevent the burden on our hospitals and healthcare system from becoming overwhelming.  Mask wearing helps accomplish all three of these goals.”

The Rome GA Safe Pledge supplements the action of the Rome City Commission Emergency Mask Ordinance unanimously passed on Dec. 8, 2020. The order requires face coverings in all public places and aligns with Gov. Brian Kemp’s order stipulating that employees at all restaurants, retail stores, salons, grocery stores and pharmacies wear a face covering at all times while having face to face interaction with the public.

The City of Rome will continue to partner with local healthcare leaders to address the COVID-19 virus in the community. Local government COVID-19 updates and resources are available at: https://www.romefloyd.com/coronavirus-updates

>>Hometown Headlines has taken the pledge.

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