Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D), said she was ready to sign an Executive Order today mandating the use of masks or face coverings in the city amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “We’ve given a lot of thought on it and we will be going forward with a mask ordinance in our city today,” she told WABE, though she didn’t provide details.
Last week, Savannah, Ga., became the first city in the state to require that people wear masks in public. Other Georgia cities have followed the order requiring face coverings in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“The fact of the matter is that COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on our city, specifically black and brown communities with higher death rates, and we will never be able to reopen our schools and our economy if we don’t take some responsibility for what we can do as leaders to make sure people aren’t exposed to this virus,” Bottoms continued.
On Monday night, the mayor announced via Twitter that she and two of her family members tested positive.
“COVID-19 has literally hit home,” Bottoms tweeted on July 6. “I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive.”
Bottoms said her husband and one of her children also tested positive for coronavirus. Another child tested negative while two others still needed to be tested, she told CNN.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), whose administration has not required the precaution, on Tuesday called on Georgia mayors and county commissioners to participate in a statewide push for residents to voluntarily wear masks. “We don’t need a mandate to have Georgians do the right thing, but we do need to build strong, public support,” Kemp told mayors according to remarks released by his office and The Associated Press reported.
The Atlanta mayor also criticized Kemp earlier this week after he issued an executive order on Monday deploying state national guard troops in the city over an escalation of violence. Kemp said that the declaration was in response to “weeks of dramatically increased violent crime and property destruction” in Atlanta and gunfire over Independence Day weekend that led to five confirmed deaths, including 8-year-old Secoriea Turner.