Mask mandates begin in Northwest Georgia as others are considered amid rise in  COVID cases.

Mask mandates begin in Northwest Georgia as others are considered amid rise in COVID cases.

With news that COVID infections are again rising — increasing more than 200% over the past two weeks in Georgia — many educational, business and religious institutions in Northwest Georgia are navigating difficult decisions. #maskmandates is a trending topic on social media, and an informal request on Facebook found that several local entities are requiring masks, or considering requiring them.

Education:  Floyd County Schools, citing Governor Kemp’s decision to end the Public Health State of Emergency on June 30, declared today that masks will not be required when school begins August 5. Also today, Rome City Schools posted a survey on Facebook asking the “Rome City Schools Community” about masking: See the survey here.

Religion: Rome First United Methodist Church sent out info via email and social on Saturday that everyone attending their 9 and 11 a.m. services on August 1 must wear masks. Their statement concluded, “Let us all continue to work together to Do No Harm.”

Other places of worship in Rome reported to be requiring masks again include St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in downtown Rome and Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Rome as well as St. Mary’s Catholic Church (also social distancing).

Senior Living: At Magnolia Place Healthcare Center at The Spires at Berry College, visitors and staff must wear a medical-grade mask, and in the Spires itself, employees must wear a medical-grade mask. This change went into effect on Thursday, July 29, according to Jill Trapp, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Spires.

Business: Sunny Knauss, owner of popular local eatery Sunflour Community Bakery said she will require masks again today  for both customers and employees. Nedra Manners of Yellow Door Antiques said that she is considering the best options for her business and customers.

Government: Beginning Monday, Floyd County Superior Court resumes their previous mask requirements, and is also returning to use of the Forum River Center for jury selection and jury trials beginning Monday, August 2.


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