UPDATE: NewsChannel 6 reached out to the Governor’s Office, he says all local mask mandates are un-enforceable given the governor’s previous and current executive orders.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis has issued an Executive Order requiring the wearing of a mask or face covering for the city of Augusta.

The order is set to take effect beginning Friday at 6 p.m. and last 30 days.

The Mayor states that enforcement will be handled by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and failure to comply could result in a fine between $25 and $50.

“We’ve worked in concert with the Sheriff’s Office. He has already been communicating with his staff. It will be soft enforcement today [at 6 p.m.].

“’Soft enforcement’ says we’re going to encourage strongly, we’re going to warn, and after a period of time, but not more than 10 days, we’re going then to move to a small punitive phase – and the order, it speaks specifically to $25 first offense, up to $50 second offense, and up to $100 for every subsequent offense after this.”

“This is not the time for us to play around with the issue COVID-19, and we’ve got to take this matter serious,” said Mayor Davis.

In regards to specifics, the mayor had this to say:

“That order will be in place effective today at 6 p.m. and will extend for a period of 30 days. It will extend not only into our public squares, but as the Governor’s already ordered – but most of us have found out more recently that people are not complying – we’ve included the requirements that the Governor had, for all individuals entering a commercial establishment within Augusta, Ga., should wear a face covering or mask at all times within the establishment to slow the spread of the virus.

“All commercial employees within an establishment, including but not limited to restaurants, retail stores, barber shops, salons, grocery stores, and pharmacies, shall also be required to wear a mask or face covering at all times while having face-to-face interactions with members of the general public.

“Any individual who is unable to wear a face mask safely due to age, underlying medical conditions, or is unable to remove the face covering or mask without the assistance of others is exempt from this executive order. We also enumerate in that order locations where you’re not required to wear a mask.

“With that effective 6 p.m. today, this executive order will be in place for 30 days.

Full Press Conference: