Mask no more

City of Savannah lifts mask mandate and other COVID-19 restrictions

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson addresses the crowd at his June 1 press conference. Photo BY BRANDY SIMPKINS
As of midnight June 1, the Savannah mask mandate has been lifted.

Mayor Van Johnson announced that the mask mandate has been changed to a mask advisory and the city can re-open its facilities, effective immediately.

“Savannah’s mask mandate which has been in effect for 11 months has expired,” Johnson said. “But it has been downgraded to a mask advisory.”

Johnson said the city advises masks and face coverings be worn by those who are unvaccinated, those with compromised immune systems, those in crowded indoor spaces and those under 12-years old.

“The decision to do this follows the science,” Johnson said.

“While our community transmission rate has plateaued in the high 70s — currently 79 — it is still considered to be a significant community spread. However, it has hung out in the 79 range. Likewise, hospitalizations are still trimming down, which is a good thing.”

Though community transmission of the virus has plateaued, Johnson said Georgia is only 33% fully vaccinated and the city of Savannah’s vaccination rate falls at 32%.

“That means two out of every three of us are not vaccinated,” Johnson said. “So, though I’m fully vaccinated, you will continue to see me wearing a mask.”

Special event permits are also being issued on a case-by-case basis for events of up to 100 participants.

“Right now, we are at 100,” Johnson said. “We will be moving that to 250, and we will start allowing special events, provided social distancing is accounted for.”

Johnson said masks will still be required in city buildings until further notice.

About The Author

Brandy Simpkins

Brandy Simpkins is the community/ event journalist for Connect Savannah. Simpkins is a born and raised Savannahian and an alumna of Savannah Savannah State University where she received her B.A. in English Language & Literature. Simpkins enjoys writing more than anything else in the world. She is a curious journalist,...
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