by Robin Kemp

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners has voted to require mask-wearing in public areas of unincorporated Clayton County–with a few exceptions–to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Chairman Jeff Turner added the ordinance to the evening’s published agenda.

Everyone in unincorporated Clayton County–meaning outside the city boundaries of Jonesboro, Forest Park, Riverdale, College Park, Morrow, Lovejoy, and Lake City–is required to wear a mask in public. That means on the streets and in government buildings.

Individual cities set their own laws:

Cities are shaded in this county map. All public areas outside city boundaries fall under the county mask ordinance.

The only exceptions are:

  • medical condition
  • religious belief
  • physical difficulty putting on or taking off the mask
  • under age 2

Commissioner DeMont Davis asked whether the ordinance would apply to restaurants and bars. Chairman Turner said it would not because the county can’t tell private businesses to require masks. However, attorney Chuck Reed added that businesses that decide to require masks on their premises can do so.

Commissioner Felicia Franklin Warner asked whether the ordinance applied to county walking trails. Reed said people using trails do not need to wear a mask unless they are unable to keep 6 feet away from others on the trail. For example, someone walking alone on a narrow trail does not need to have on a mask until they encounter someone else walking nearby.

Here’s a quick video of the discussion from Tuesday night’s meeting:

YouTube video

The county also will continue educating residents about which masks are best at preventing COVID-19.

Watch Clayton County employees urge residents to “Mask Up Clayton”:

YouTube video

Clayton County has a lengthy webpage of COVID-19 information at