Cobb County to keep mask mandate in effect for government buildings

Cobb County will extend its mask mandate in government buildings through mid-February, citing a recent surge in coronavirus cases among county employees.

Cases are down some from their early January peak, but remain higher than at any previous point in the pandemic. The omicron variant has been much more contagious than prior strains of the virus, infecting so many people that hospitals across the state have had to ration care.

Doctors and nurses have pleaded for residents to get vaccinated and socially distance to reduce the spread and severity of the virus.

In Cobb County, deaths were still increasing last week, even as the total number of cases dropped slightly, said Janet Memark, the district health director for Cobb and Douglas counties. In the last two weeks, 10,591 new cases were reported in the county, according to state health data.

Public meetings in Cobb will continue to be held virtually until its emergency declaration expires Feb. 19, the county announced in a newsletter.

However, the county is lifting capacity limits in large government facilities effective Feb. 1.