Dunwoody’s face mask ordinance is set to expire May 30, but could end sooner or later depending on the county’s case rate. 

During a May 10 Dunwoody City Council meeting, Mayor Lynn Deustch provided an update on the city’s mask mandate. The city established its Emergency Face Mask Ordinance in November of 2020, which is set to last through May 30. The order only requires enforcement when cases in DeKalb County are above the “threshold requirement,” which was introduced by Gov. Brian Kemp in August 2020, when he allowed cities and counties to mandate mask-wearing. 

The threshold limit of COVID-19 cases for DeKalb County is 100 confirmed cases for every 100,000 people over a period of 14 days. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, that number is currently 107.

According to Kemp’s August order, a mask mandate in public spaces or private businesses can only be enforced by local governments when the number of cases is over the threshold. Deutsch said she expected that number to drop below 100 soon.

“I predict by the end of this week, if not sooner, the number of cases will be 100 or lower,” she said. 

According to a city spokesperson, the mayor said “every indicator suggests the case numbers will continue dropping.” However, if that trend changes, the council will discuss whether or not to renew the mask ordinance at its May 24 council meeting. 

The ordinance requires people to wear masks “when physical distancing is difficult,” according to the city website. Those exempt from the ordinance include children under the age of 10, those inside their personal vehicle, those eating or drinking, those with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, and those who are maintaining social distancing protocols outside. 

Deutsch said after the ordinance expires, businesses have the right to continue to enforce mask-wearing. A city spokesperson said the city will let the Dunwoody community know if the mask ordinance lapses before May 30. 

“What happens next is totally up to us,” Deutsch said. “Stay home if you don’t feel well, avoid large crowds indoors, wash your hands and seek COVID testing if you are concerned about your potential exposure.”

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.