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Kemp: Atlanta mayor cannot override executive order, revert city back to phase one

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp listens to a question from the press during a tour of a massive temporary hospital at the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Atlanta.

(The Center Square) – Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is facing backlash from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp after announcing the city would be reverting to phase one of COVID-19 restrictions Friday.

Bottoms made the recommendations in response to a daily statewide spike in COVID-19 cases. Kemp responded to the mayor’s announcement, calling it “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,” Kemp said in a statement. “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.”

Phase one restrictions call for residents to stay home except for essential services and wear face coverings in public. Restaurants must revert to offering only take-out services.

Kemp’s active executive order requires only medically vulnerable Georgians and those living in long-term care facilities to shelter-in-place. Restaurants are allowed to operate, but social distancing and limiting gatherings to 50 people are required.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 4,484 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, a daily record for the state, raising the total cases since March to 111,211, with 9.7 percent of tests showing positive results for COVID-19.

DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett counties make up a majority of the cases and are in the Atlanta area.

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