Governor Brian Kemp makes stop in Columbus for ‘Wear a Mask’ tour

Updated: Jul. 1, 2020 at 4:36 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp making a stop in Columbus Wednesday morning on his tour of the state.

Kemp is urging the public to wear masks, especially heading into a major holiday weekend.

Kemp said they’ve learned a lot about the coronavirus over the past few months, and one thing he knows for sure right now is that wearing a mask and social distancing are the closest things we have to a vaccine.

“We cannot grow complacent or weary. It’s a new day with a new challenge. We’ve got to hunker down and keep chopping,” Kemp said.

Thousands of Georgians have tested positive for the coronaviurs since the beginning of the year. Kemp is hoping to slow the spread by continuing to ask for the public’s help.

“Everyone should wear a mask if they are out in public and they can’t socially distance themselves,” Kemp said.

“This is the one true way we have to stop the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Kathlen Toomey from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

In Savannah, a new ordinance is requiring people to wear masks in public. Kemp and Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson agree that is not needed.

“I personally don’t believe Georgians need a mandate to flatten the curve again. We’ve done it once by adhering to the guidance and we can do it again,” Kemp said.

“The vaccine is social distancing and a mask. It’s free. It doesn’t cost anything. All you have to do is participate. So, my frustration is in the fact that there’s a lot of people that seem to be disregarding the fact that we have the control and the power to stop the spread on our own,” Henderson said.

Henderson said nothing is off the table. At the very least they’ll discuss every available option. But for now, the city is watching what’s happening in Savannah to see how it works for them and how they’ll enforce it before considering if it’s something they would want to do in Columbus.

If slowing the spread doesn’t concern you, maybe sports do.

“If you want to have your football season this fall, wear a mask. This is a sacrifice you have to make now, but it’s going to pay dividends for all of us so we get our football back,” Toomey said.

“Your actions will help end the pandemic and continue our recovery,” Kemp said.

Kemp said especially as we head into the Fourth of July, get yourself a patriotic mask and keep your loved ones safe from the spread of the virus.

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