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City of Athens will not issue local mask mandate, mayor says

The city said that some facilities may still require masks to be worn due to "the high volume of foot traffic," like the Athens Police Department.

ATHENS, Ala. — Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks announced on April 7 that he will not issue a local mask mandate following the expiration of the statewide mask mandate on April 9.

“Our local businesses and organizations can follow state guidelines and make their own decision whether to encourage or require masks,” Marks said. “COVID certainly has not gone away although more people are getting the vaccine. We still need to be cautious and have personal responsibility.”

The city said that some facilities may still require masks to be worn due to "the high volume of foot traffic," like the Athens Police Department.

Seating at Athens City Council meetings and other City Hall meetings will remain spaced apart.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a plethora of information on how to protect yourself and other from the coronavirus.  

The virus can easily spread from person to person, so the CDC recommends you stay at least 6-feet apart from people not in your household. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breaths or talks, according to the CDC. Because of this, the CDC recommends you wear a cloth facemask when around others and in public. 

Additionally, the CDC recommends that you frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

Symptoms to look out for include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC. 

Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the CDC. 

If you suspect you have the coronavirus, you should seek out testing and self-quarantine. 

Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

IN OTHER NEWS: CDC awards over $44 million to expand COVID vaccines in Alabama