Under New Campaign Kemp Wants Businesses To Ask Customers To Wear Masks Without Mandating It

'Georgia Safety Promise' is a voluntary pledge the Governor's office is asking Georgians to take.
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Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp this week launched the Georgia Safety Promise, a campaign seeking “pledges” from the state’s businesses and citizens to agree to “simple—yet critical—measures that help protect Georgians from COVID-19, minimize the spread of the virus, and keep Georgia open for business.”

Among those measures is “wearing face coverings,” something Kemp’s office has been touring the state recommending, but not mandating. At the recommendation of the C.D.C., several states including California and New York, require its citizens to wear masks in public spaces.

“I realize that many on this call have different opinions on the appropriate response to this pandemic, and that’s fine,” Kemp said in a conference call Tuesday with local Georgia officials including in Savannah where the Mayor is mandating face coverings. “But we all agree that masks are good and can help stop the spread. We all know that social distancing makes it hard for the virus to travel. We agree that handwashing can limit exposure. So instead of mandates, I’m asking you to join me in raising awareness.”

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who said she recently contracted the novel coronavirus, Wednesday told MSNBC she is going to issue to Executive Order today requiring the City’s residents to wear masks.

“I specifically asked our governor about allowing Atlanta to go forward with mandating masks in our city, he refused,” Bottoms told MSNBC. “Other cities have taken the approach that they are going to defy the governor’s executive order and Savannah has done it, some other cities have done it and Atlanta is going to do it today.”

Kemp’s stance on “urging” the use of masks as COVID-19 cases rise in the state without requiring it is likely because mask-wearing has seemingly become political.

Businesses that commit to the Georgia Safety Promise voluntarily agree to follow the latest guidelines from the Governor’s Office and the Georgia Department of Public Health including promoting social distancing, wearing face coverings, cleaning surfaces, and washing and sanitizing hands.

As part of the program, participating businesses will be sent a “digital toolkit” with graphics and signage to be shared across social media channels and displayed at storefronts to “encourage” patrons to follow the safety recommendations.

“All Georgians can personally commit to the Georgia Safety Promise by following basic safety guidelines when in public spaces, including practicing social distance, wearing a face covering, washing and sanitizing hands, and supporting businesses that have committed to the Georgia Safety Promise.”

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Graphic: Official

[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 (CJS) is the Founder of What Now Media Group, Inc., the publisher of What Now Atlanta, What Now Los Angeles, What Now San Diego, and What Now Las Vegas.
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6 months ago

Kemp, grow a pair and be a leader. You need to do what’s right for the people and not be afraid of some not liking your decisions. Be a leader!!! The sooner we all cover our droplets the sooner we will get out of this mess. Our economy will not flourish until the cases are down. Just because a business is open does not mean people will come in.

6 months ago
Reply to  BeckyT

He’s such a coward. He knows he overstepped opening and understepped on masks, but will not disobey DC. Instead, asking private businesses to do the work he could do with a simple signature.

6 months ago
Reply to  BeckyT

Growing a pair has nothing to do with his leadership. He is not following and that is what you have a problem with. THE CDC plainly says RECOMMENDATION. You cannot force a human being to put on a mask that does not STOP a virus! And there are business not only flourishing but as you see here on what now Atlanta business are opening daily! So stop worrying about the Gov growing a pair and YOU grow a pair!

6 months ago
Reply to  Taylor

Sorry, but the reason the CDC’s documentation says “recommendation” is because they are legally not allowed to enforce regulations. The CDC is not a regulatory agency. If they could impose a mandate, I promise you they would be. If the CDC has guidance on anything, imagine it has large flashing arrows on it that strongly implies you should do it.

6 months ago

I mean, that’s fine. They’re not going to lock anyone up for not wearing a mask so, in the end we know it’s voluntary anyways. But the messaging is confusing and extremely late, people are looking to other sources for reliable information on keeping healthy. The opportunity to lead and have a robust response has passed.

6 months ago
Reply to  eRosewater

Who? People like Keisha Lance Bottoms who got Covid-19 and likely has spread it to others? No thanks.

6 months ago

Kemp is a JOKE

6 months ago
Reply to  Decatur

No your a joke

6 months ago

I don’t wear a mask when I’m walking on our neighborhood sidewalks, and I usually walk in the street if someone is coming toward me.
Well, I just got back from walking to the market.
I heard someone coming up behind me– they had shoes on that made a squishy sound.
So it turns out to be a creepy homeless guy. As he passes me, he turns his head around and blows in my face.

6 months ago

Way to take a hit for business Kemp! Seriously pushing the enforcement of a non-existent requirement on to a business is ridiculous. If a business actually cares they are the bad guy, when he could easily make it a public health requirement like shoes & shirts. Now the business gets singled out and punished! Great job with that economy restart buddy.

6 months ago

I agree with Gov Kemp. Attempting to “ mandate” something that does not STOP. DOES NOT STOP I REPEAT DOES NOT STOP the spread of a virus that is similar to the flu and common cold. There is something strange in the waters right now . It’s distracting, and pushing fear and human right of choice. This had better not turn out to be political . I feel most sorry for the children who will unfortunately become sick with other issues from wearing a mask all day at these schools and not being able to breathe sufficiently and get oxygen… Read more »

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