Mask mandate now in effect for Warren County

Published 11:10 am Monday, August 16, 2021

The Warren County Board of Supervisors set in place a county-wide mask mandate during its Aug. 16 meeting.

The order goes into effect Monday at noon.

Board Attorney Blake Teller said the mandate is aligned with the city of Vicksburg’s mandate in order to put the same rules in place outside of city limits.

“This COVID resolution for consideration is in order to minimize the risk of infection and to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Teller said.

Effective Monday, the mandate will run through Sept. 7 at noon. The mandate requires those unable to keep six feet of distance from others outside of their household to wear a mask. This is effective in government buildings, businesses and public facilities, regardless of for-profit or non-profit status.

Exceptions include children under the age of 8, a medical condition prohibiting a person from wearing a mask, during the consumption of food or drink, communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, speaking to an audience and temporarily removing the mask for identification purposes.

“It is essentially what the city has in place,” Teller said.

The board will meet again on the Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. and discuss extending the county mandate at that time.

The board also approved two other items relating to COVID-19 procedures. It approved a requirement of masks for county employees when social distancing between coworkers and members of the public is not possible. The employee procedures also outline that a person should not report to work when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and when they are able to return to work after exposure or symptoms. This item became effective immediately and until further notice from the board.

“This will become part of employee policy pending further order from this board,” Teller said.

Additionally, Teller brought an item before the board on behalf of Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace. Pace requested the board approved the rules set in place for Sheriff’s deputies. The policy in place for the Sheriff’s Office includes a mask mandate, as well as a travel restriction for the department. This was approved and is in place for the next 30 days, which is through Sept. 15.

These changes in policy are coming into place after a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Warren County, as well as nationwide. According to New York Times data, Warren County is averaging 47 new cases per day with a total of 5,192 cases as of Aug. 15. This is a 277-percent increase in cases in just two weeks. The Warren County Board of Supervisors has implemented these mandates with the hope of slowing the spread of coronavirus within the community.