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Masks to be mandated at Troup County Government Center

Effective Monday at 8 a.m., a revised mask policy for Troup County Superior Court will go into effect at the Troup County Government Center, according to a press release from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.

A judicial order from Chief Superior Court Judge John Simpson states that face coverings will be mandated at the Troup County Government Center common areas, which include hallways, public restrooms, elevators, waiting areas, and all courtrooms. The order pertains to employees and visitors at the government center.

This order only applies to the Troup County Government Center and not other county buildings with the exception of the sheriff’s office and jail, which already have a mask requirement in place.

“Once a visitor comes in and goes to a particular office, because we have constitutional officers that can run their offices, it will be up to them and their policies as to [whether visitors] have to wear masks,” Troup County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews said. “It kind of came from the court system that they wanted [the mask mandate]. They have the authority to require that in the courthouse, so in all common areas, visitors will need to be masked.”

Crews said that while the requirement is controversial, he’s concerned about COVID-19 cases rising in the area.

“This variant is very, very contagious,” he said. “The hospital, per the hospital administrator Coleman Foss, is full of people right now with COVID.”

While he wishes more people would get vaccinated, noting that vaccines are more effective against COVID, Crews said masks will help protect people at the government center.

“In an effort to prioritize community safety due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the county continues to encourage individuals to get vaccinated, wear protective face coverings, wash hands often, practice proper social distancing, and stay home if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19,” said a seperate Troup County press release.