Gov. Kemp suggests Mayor Bottoms enforce state restrictions amid reopening rollback
ATLANTA, Ga. (WGCL) - It's back to Phase 1 of reopening for the city of Atlanta as the entire state of Georgia continues to experience record-breaking spikes in coronaivrus cases.
On Friday, just two days after issuing a mask mandate, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms made the decision to place the city under Phase 1 stay-at-home guidelines. Under this phase, only essential businesses and city services are to be in operation.
Phase 1 Guidelines:
- Stay home except for essential trips
- Frequent hand washing
- Social distancing followed and enforced where practical
- Wear face coverings in public
- To-go and curbside pickups from restaurants and retail establishments
- Continue practicing teleworking
- Frequent cleaning of public and high touch areas
- Non-essential City facilities remain closed
- Moratorium on special event applications Establish and continue communication with local and state authorities to monitor public health metrics
Governor Brian Kemp reiterated that Mayor Bottoms' rollback of the reopening process only serves as guidance.
"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," said Gov. Kemp. "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. 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."
In early March, Fulton County reported its first case of the novel coronavirus that had already shut down China, Spain and Italy. More often than not the county has lead the state with the most cases and deaths of the often deadly virus.
At the time, Governor Kemp said, "We [state of Georgia] were ready for today. We've been preparing as you know for several weeks now, and so far every development has come forward just as we expected it would."
Three days later Gov. Kemp declared his first State of Emergency order for three counties; he would later issue the same order for the entire state.
Though after three months of varying degrees of sheltering in place, the state seemingly launched into its 'new normal' of businesses requiring face coverings and restaurants mostly only offering take-out.
Still an eruption of days-long protests, Memorial Day festivities, summer weather, and the slow return of leisure travel lead to Georgia experiencing an uptick in new coronavirus cases.
As of 3 p.m. July 10, Fulton County had 10,021 confirmed cases, 321 deaths, and 1,230 hospitalizations. Overall the stated reported 111,211 cases, 2,965 deaths and 12,937 hospitalizations.
That same day Georgia had more than 4,400 confirmed cases, making it a record-breaking day for the state struggling to efficiently curb the spread of COVID-19.
With metro hospitals nearing capacity and running out of IUC beds to treat COVID-19 patients, Gov. Kemp announced plans to again transform the Georgia World Congress Center into a COVID-19 facility.
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