Atlanta Mayor Rolls Back Reopening Plan As Coronavirus Cases Soar
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is set to roll back the city's reopening plan back to phase one as COVID-19 continues to spread across the state, a spokesman said Friday.
The first phase guidelines include encouraging residents to stay home except for essential trips, wearing a face covering in public and avoid in-person dining at restaurants.
“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,” Bottoms said. “Georgia reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences.”
While the guidelines are voluntary, a citywide mask mandate was enacted earlier this week to slow down the virus. But Gov. Brian Kemp's executive order regarding coronavirus response prohibits cities and counties from enacting more or fewer restrictions than what the state mandates.
In a statement, the governor's office took aim at Bottoms' recent actions.
"Mayor Bottoms' action today is merely guidance - both non-binding and legally unenforceable. As clearly stated in the Governor's executive order, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide. Once again, if the Mayor actually wants to flatten the curve in Atlanta, she should start enforcing state restrictions, which she has failed to do."
The statement added: "We ask citizens and businesses alike to comply with the terms of the Governor's order, which was crafted in conjunction with state public health officials. These common-sense measures will help protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians."
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
Athens, East Point and Savannah are other jurisdictions that passed mask ordinances in recent days.
Bottoms, who revealed a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 earlier this week, has been a vocal critic of the state's response to the virus.
Meanwhile, Kemp announced the state would soon reactivate a surge capacity hospital inside the Georgia World Congress Center and activate more bed space inside a metro-area hospital as hospitalizations and cases continue to rise.
As of Friday, July 10, more than 111,000 confirmed cases have been reported in Georgia, and nearly 3,000 deaths. Friday's update also saw a single day record of 4,484 new COVID-19 cases, over 1,000 more than the previous record.