ATLANTA — To require it or not? That's a question many people have been debating on social media when it comes to wearing masks.
Some places around the country have started making it mandatory for people to wear face coverings out in public, including in Savannah, Georgia. Mayor Van Johnson's executive order said anyone entering a commercial establishment in the city must wear a mask or face covering while inside. If not, you could face a fine.
Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday expressed his skepticism about the need for a statewide mask mandate. The governor does, however, encourage the public to wear a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19. But, Kemp is resistant to making it a legal requirement.
"Regardless of what legal action may or may not happen, we shouldn't get to that I think," Kemp said. "We shouldn't need a mask mandate for people to do the right thing."
11Alive is Where Atlanta Speaks, so we posed the question to viewers to see how they feel about mask requirements. The comments came pouring in on social media.
"Masks are easier than shutdowns. So I am OK with wearing one in public," Sue Shaw said on Facebook.
"As a teacher, I would like masks to be required, not just suggested, for all students," said LuAnne Roote Wiese in a comment. "We need to protect our families, too!"
"I think it’s an individual choice and never be forced on anyone," said Diana Charton Ragsdale.
"If it can help stop the transmission of the virus, I’m for it. A little inconvenience won’t kill you but COVID-19 can," Linda Yarbrough posted.
"AGAINST!!!!! If you are afraid and want to wear a mask then fine!! BUT don’t force it on those who don’t feel the need to jeopardize our health by forcing it on us," Judy Bridges Williams said on the Facebook post.
"For people who are against this...don't you wear sunscreen to protect your skin, sunglasses to protect your eyes, helmets to protect head, seat belts to save your life in a car? I am not understanding the logic you're using to disregard the mask and see it as something that's infringing on your " personal rights"," Danielle Hurdle said. "I'm not dying because of you!! Wear the mask so we can get past this crap!!!"
"Don't understand having to wear mask, especially if our governor does not seem interested in mandating masks," said Roland Petrin.
"YES, I wear a mask everywhere to protect myself and others, this is easy to help us all fight this virus...be responsible...we can all do this ..🙏💜," an 11Alive viewer told us in an email.
There are hundreds of other comments on the 11Alive Facebook page about the mask debate. But no matter if it's a requirement or not, health experts still encourage people to wear them.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all people 2 years of age and older wear a cloth face covering in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.
We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.