ATLANTA - Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an order Friday evening, rolling back the city's reopening plans.
The city will revert back to Phase 1, where all residents are required to stay home. The exception is for essential trips, like going to the grocery store.
“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.”
Source: City of Atlanta
Guidelines for Individuals in Phase 1:
- Stay home except for essential trips
- Wear face coverings in public
- Frequent hand washing
- Social distancing followed and enforced where practical
Guidelines for Businesses in Phase 1:
- To-go and delivery orders from restaurants
- Continue practicing teleworking
- Frequent cleaning of public and high touch areas
Guidelines for City Government in Phase 1:
- 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
Atlanta entered Phase 2 at the end of May, which allowed for small, private gatherings of no more than 10 people with social distancing and allowed for to-go and curbside pickups from restaurants (previously allowed in Phase 1) and retail establishments.
Phase 1 is implemented when the percent of hospital and critical care capacity remains above 50%.
Gov. Brian Kemp's executive orders, which allowed many businesses to reopen with new safety guidelines and social distancing, remains in effect. As a result, the mayor's orders are not enforceable and simply guidelines.
"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," Kemp's Office released in a statement to FOX 5. "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."
The decision to roll back to Phase 1 comes as the state marked the largest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases with nearly 4,500 in the last 24 hours.
Kemp also announced the reactivation of the Georgia World Congress Center as a temporary hospital facility for COVID-19 patient overflow.
Roughly 82% of Georgia’s critical care beds are in use and health systems across Georgia say they’re quickly nearing capacity.
In metro Atlanta, Emory Healthcare said hospitalizations of its confirmed COVID-19 patients have more than tripled in the past 14 days.
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