Atlanta Mayor Rolls Back Reopening

Governor calls Bottoms actions "non-binding"

Maria Boynton
July 10, 2020 - 11:57 pm
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is rolling back the city to Phase I of the pandemic reopening plan.

(Photo Credit: City of Atlanta)

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued an Order directing the City of Atlanta’s five-phased reopening plan to be moved from the current Phase II back to Phase I effective immediately in response to, what she calls, "the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases in the state of Georgia." But the move by Bottoms is being called "confusing, non-binding, and legally unenforceable" by Governor Brian Kemp. 

Bottoms has lambasted Kemp and President Donald Trump for their handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  On MSNBC Thursday Bottoms said "there's a lack of leadership in our state and a lack of leadership from the White House." She added that Kemp "is not doing enough for our state" and that "his leadership has been irresponsible." While she expressed "concern" at the time, Bottoms is now saying outright "we opened up very quickly and we're now seeing the result of that."  

She announced earlier this week that she and members of her family have tested positive.

According to a statement from Bottoms' office, the reopening plan was drawn from the recommendations of the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Reopening Atlanta. The statement indicates that the reopening phases are based on milestone metrics and recent data.

Georgia, according to the State Department of Public Health, has set a new 1-day record of new COVID-19 cases. There were almost 5-tousand people newly infected as of Friday.  The total now stands at 111, 211 confirmed cases of the respiratory illness with almost 3,000 related deaths.

“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,” said Mayor Bottoms. “Georgia reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences.”

Phase 1: Stay at Home guidelines are as follows:

Individuals:

Stay home except for essential trips;

Wearing a face mask in public is a mandate;

Frequent handwashing; and

Social distancing followed and enforced where practical.

Businesses:

To-go and curbside pickups from restaurants and retail establishments;

Continue practicing teleworking; and

Frequent cleaning of public and high touch areas.

City Government:

Non-essential City facilities remain closed;

Moratorium on special event applications; and

Establish and continue communication with local and State authorities to monitor public health metrics.

Earlier this week, Mayor Bottoms issued Executive Order 2020-113 requiring all persons to wear a mask or a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth within the city of Atlanta in response to the rising number of COVID-19 infections. Today, Mayor Bottoms issued Executive Order 2020-114 which prohibits gatherings of any number of individuals on city of Atlanta property.

Chief among the City’s guidance to residents and visitors are the following preventative measures:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have recently returned from a country with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.