City steps up COVID-19 response


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta is continuing to shape its COVID-19 response now with more opportunities for getting paid for getting shots, and with talks of masks and mandates.

To get more shots in arms, Augusta is teaming up with the Health Department on a $100 incentive program, but city leaders are not stopping there.

“I’m happy about all the different sites that we have and giving the citizens an opportunity to go out and get the vaccinations, what more can we do our job was to make it available,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

City leaders say not only will people be getting shots at the Health Department be eligible for the inventive program but also Medical Associates Plus.

And the city is working on agreements with Christ Community Health and A.U.

City administrator Odie Donald says other cities in Georgia are also providing vaccine incentive programs however in Athens officials have directed the city manager to develop a plan to mandate vaccines for its city workforce.

“I have no problem I have no problem with that either because we live with a lot of mandates in our everyday living, “said Commissioner Williams.

“It could backfire on us shoot somebody may say I’ll go work somewhere else where I don’t have to be mandated to get a vaccine some people might not be able to take that vaccine,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.

In May commissioners returned to meeting in person but covid cases have risen dramatically, this had the mayor this week calling for a mask mandate in chambers.

“100% commission and audience will be masked?”

“That’s correct,” said the mayor.

But Tuesday’s committee meetings mask wearing fell well short of the mayor’s 100% mask requirement, for the audience and the commission.

“We’re sitting behind Plexiglas and we’re not you know in touch with anyone else. I really don’t see the need for the mask,” said Commissioner John Clarke.

The Administrator saying the roll out for the vaccine incentive program is not September 9th, that means getting a gift card after you get all of your shots.

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