We have received several comments and questions from citizens regarding the announcement that Walmart will require all customers who enter their building to wear masks beginning Monday, July 20, 2020. The questions are related to the Executive Order signed by Governor Kemp on July 15.
The Governor's order, which limits mask regulations, is only applicable to local government entities. Which means under the current Governor’s order, the City of Fitzgerald nor the Ben Hill County Commissioners can enact ordinances requiring citizens to wear face masks. Do understand this regulatory order does not apply to the Department of Public Health’s order requiring face masks or coverings for the food service industry. This order is still in place and will be lawfully enforced if violated.
Walmart is a private business that is operated on private property, which gives them the right to require face masks by anyone entering their property. If you choose to shop inside Walmart on or after Monday, July 20, 2020, you will be required to wear a face mask at all times.
Many opinions are being expressed about this public notice from Walmart Corporation. If you have questions or concerns please let us know, and we will answer them for you. Orders are in place for public protection, and to help slow the spread of Covid-19. We ask that everyone do their part to help slow the rapid rise in positive Covid -19 cases in our community.
Lee Cone, Sheriff
Ben Hill County Sheriff’s Office
Brandon Fletcher, Director
Ben Hill County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security