Cities, counties in Georgia defying governor's order with mask mandates

A growing list of cities in Georgia have issued or plan to issue mandates, resolutions, or ordinances requiring face masks be worn in public as coronavirus cases continue to steadily climb.

Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order that has language that "suspended" those local mandates. Despite the order, many of those municipalities have pledged to stand by their policies and have asserted they know what is best when it comes to fighting the coronavirus in their respective communities. The most vocal of those being Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.


Kemp does not disagree with wearing a mask. At most of his public appearances, he was seen wearing one and has openly advocated for it, going so far as to go on a statewide tour prior to the Fourth of July to promote their use. But he has maintained for weeks that cities and counties don’t have the power to require masks in public places, saying no local order can be more or less restrictive than his statewide mandates.

Here is the list of cities and counties that have passed mask mandates despite of the governor's order:


The Athens-Clarke Commission unanimously approved the requirement in Tuesday’s monthly commission voting meeting. The ordinance requires the public to wear face masks through August 4, though the commission could extend it.

Penalties are $25 for a first offense, $25 for a second and $100 for a third.


Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order mandating the use of masks throughout the city.


Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis has issued an executive order Friday mandating masks be worn within city limits. The order goes into effect at 6 p.m. and expires on August 10.

Avondale Estates

The city passed a resolution requiring all customers, employees, and other users of restaurants, retail stores, and all other public places to wear a mask or face covering while inside or where social distancing cannot be safely practiced. It excluded those who live under the same roof and those under 10. There are also exceptions for those with medical conditions, religious beliefs, or when complying with a law enforcement officer. It also allows for the removal of masks while eating and drinking. Offenders could face fines up to $100.


Mayor John Ernst signed an executive order on July 9 requiring the use of face masks for everyone entering a commercial establishment in Brookhaven to prevent the escalating spread of COVID-19.

Under the order, face masks are not required:

  • in personal vehicles
  • in a private home alone or with other household members
  • when alone in enclosed spaces
  • or when engaging in outdoor physical activity, provided a minimum of six feet from other people is maintained
  • when drinking, eating or smoking
  • when wearing a face mask would prevent the receipt of personal services, such as dental care or salon service

The order also does not apply to children 10 years of age or younger. Anyone failing to comply with the order is subject to a fine of not more than $500.

College Park

The city is requiring the use of face masks in "in all commercial establishments serving the general public - businesses, organizations, municipal buildings or other establishments within College Park’s jurisdiction. Religious establishments are not included in the ruling."

Exceptions include while driving, while alone or at home with family members, where social distancing can safely be practiced, while swimming, eating, drinking, or smoking, for security reasons, while voting, or while public speaking.

Violators could face a $50 fine, but city officials stressed the new rule is not meant to be a punitive one.


The City of Decatur approved an ordinance that will make wearing masks in public spaces mandatory.

DeKalb County

County commissioners passed an amended ordinance that requires DeKalb residents over age eight “to utilize a face covering or mask which covers the nose and mouth when in any public place.”

According to the county,  written warning will be given for first violations. Those who violate the ordinance a second time will be required to attend a virtual or in-person COVID-19 prevention class “to understand the public health ramifications of this crisis and appropriate public health responses to mitigate the spread of this disease.”


Officials with the City of Doraville say they plan to introduce an ordinance requiring the use of face masks on July 13. The ordinance is expected to pass.


The city of Dunwoody passed a resolution supporting the use of masks.

East Point

City Council voted 6-2 to adopt a face mask ordinance effective 12 a.m. on July 9, 2020. This ordinance will remain in effect during the declared state of emergency related to COVID-19.

Violators are subject to a fine of up to $75. Fines can be imposed starting Monday, July 13, 2020.


The city of Fairburn passed an ordinance requiring a face mask or covering to be worn inside commercial establishments and allowing for special exceptions.


The Rome City Commission voted 7-2 to enact a mandatory mask ordinance beginning July 14, 2020, through and including August 24, 2020, unless a state of emergency is extended statewide. Fines would be $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, and $100 for any
subsequent offense.

The law exempts religious establishments but includes most public locations. 


Savannah Mayor Van Johnson issued an emergency order making wearing masks in public mandatory.

Those who refuse to comply could face $500 fines.

South Fulton 

City of South Fulton officials passed an emergency ordinance Friday requiring masks to be worn while in public. 
The mandate goes into effect on July 11.

Union City

Mask and face-covering required within public spaces and commercial establishments within the city limits of Union City.

RELATED:, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.

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