Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) announced Friday she’s rolling back her city’s reopening, citing concerns over an increase in coronavirus cases in Georgia.
Bottoms said in a statement that she’s bringing Atlanta back to the reopening’s first phase, mandating people to wear masks in public and urging them to frequently wash their hands and stay home except for essential trips. It also recommends businesses continue teleworking and conduct frequent cleanings of public and “high touch” areas.
Nonessential city facilities will remain closed.
“Based upon the surge of COVID-19 cases and other data trends, pursuant to the recommendations of our Reopening Advisory Committee, Atlanta will return to Phase I of our reopening plan,” said Bottoms. “Georgia reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences.”
The rollback comes as Georgia sees an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases, setting a record of nearly 5,000 new cases Friday alone.
Bottoms’s move clashes with guidance from Gov. Brian Kemp (R), who has advocated for a more aggressive reopening approach and asked cities not to mandate mask-wearing.
“Atlanta Mayor @KeishaBottoms’ action today is merely guidance – both non-binding and legally unenforceable. As clearly stated in my executive orders, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide,” Kemp said in a swipe at Bottoms.
Atlanta Mayor @KeishaBottoms‘ action today is merely guidance – both non-binding and legally unenforceable. As clearly stated in my executive orders, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide. (1/3) https://t.co/3pQdB0pI70
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) July 10, 2020
Bottoms signed an executive order mandating that people wear masks Wednesday, two days after she announced she tested positive for the coronavirus after exhibiting no symptoms.