Kemp Suspends Bottoms’ Mask Mandate In Renewed Executive Order

Move was part of an extension of the Governor's coronavirus restrictions set to expire today.

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Governor Brian Kemp on Wednesday extended coronavirus restrictions that were set to expire today by way of a renewed Executive Order which included language that the mask mandate recently issued by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms had been “suspended.”

“State, county, or municipal law, order, ordinance, rule, or regulation that requires persons to wear face coverings, masks, face shields, or any other Personal Protective Equipment while in places of public accommodation or on public property are suspended to the extent that they are more restrictive than this Executive Order,” Kemp wrote in Wednesday’s order.

Kemp’s Executive Order41-pages in lengthalso voids similar mask mandates from 14 other Georgia localities including in Savannah which was the first city to issue such a mandate. The Governor continues to “urge” the state’s citizens to wear masks, however, tweeting Wednesday, “today I issued Executive Order, which extends the gatherings ban of more than 50 people, renews business restrictions, protects the medically fragile, and strongly encourages Georgians to wear masks in public.”

Under Bottoms’ mask mandate, Atlantans were required to wear face coverings in public places, including when patronizing restaurants and retail stores. At the time of the mandate, the mayor’s office said it was enforceable. The Governor’s office quickly responded with a press release stating, “like all of the local mask mandates, Mayor Bottoms’ order is unenforceable. We continue to encourage Georgians to do the right thing and wear a mask voluntarily. If the Mayor wants to flatten the curve in Atlanta, she should start enforcing the current provisions of the Governor’s orders.”

Businesses can choose to require face coverings at their discretion, however.

The Mayor’s office Wednesday did not immediately respond to What Now Atlanta’s request for comment.

[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

17 Responses

  1. Really Kemp? Politics over the health of your constituents. I don’t know how you sleep at night. Even Alabama had the courage to issue a mask mandate.

    1. I don’t know how you sleep at night.

      Not sure how KLB sleeps at night knowing that her inaction and taking the side of violent criminals led to the death of an 8 year old girl and other gun violence throughout the city. She also has Covid and was reckless enough to go to a press conference sans mask and potentially spread it. But Kemp is soooo bad and scary right?

      1. They both scare me! Kemp has his head in the sand on Covid-19 and KLB is allowing mob rule, tossing the police under the bus. Our leaders on BOTH sides are failing us!

  2. I don’t understand why he’s in this stupid pissing match with the city government. Why does it matter to him if certain cities want to be more cautious. He says that he encourages everyone to wear a mask, but the second someone say you have to wear a mask he loses his mind.
    Has he won any of the counties where there were mask mandates anyways? He lost Fulton (and all of metro Atlanta), Chatham (Savannah), and Clarke (Athens) counties. What does this do for him politically?

    1. Politics aside, it just isn’t a rational public health approach. Given the local/regional nature of disease contraction and the differences in population density, some areas need more restrictive policies and in other areas it may be ok to be less restrictive. Why would you set up a state policy that doesn’t account for that and that restricts local leaders from taking the steps they feel is necessary to keep their community safe? Obviously, politics is the answer, but it’s sad that our leaders are acting this way.

  3. Absurd how much this works against slowing the spread. What does this mean for business like Walmart, Starbucks and others who now require a mask in their stores?

    1. I don’t think this in any way restricts businesses from requiring masks. However, I think it’s the place of government and public health officials to set the standards for preventing the pandemic. Given the absurd political overtones that mask-wearing has taken on, making businesses be the ones who are enforcing public health mandates creates an unfortunate business vs customers dynamic that shouldn’t be necessary.

  4. I guess Kemp is basically trying to murder people just like Trump is. The Trump Pandemic and the Trump Great Depression rage on because Republicans don’t give a damn about containing the virus. I’m sure Kemp could murder people on Peachtree Street right now just like Trump could murder people on 5th Ave and the right wing media around here, WSB and the AJC, could give a damn. That’s how much of a terrorist organization the Republican party has become

      1. Yes, I’m afraid so. They’re both owned by right wing Cox Communications, which wouldn’t give a damn if Trump murdered someone on 5th Ave. Every news story on WSB is right wing propaganda. And of course WSB radio has all those racist right wing hacks like Hannity polluting their airwaves with fake news and lies and racism and sexism.

      2. And the AJC of course fired their only liberal columnist, Jay Bookman, years ago, because they wanted to ensure we would get brainwashed with the fake news and lies and racism and sexism from Trump and FOX Noise

  5. Kemp is basically committing genocide of Georgians just as Trump is committing genocide of Americans. Kemp and Trump and all the sick Republican terrorists have sunk far lower than Hitler and Bin Laden in that many thousands will die because they’re doing nothing about ending the Trump Pandemic other than making it much worse

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