On Wednesday (July 28), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public places.
Local station WXIA reports the mandate requires a face mask or cloth covering while indoors at a public place, which includes private businesses and establishments in the City of Atlanta.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases via the Delta variant and the new CDC guidance are the reasons for the new mandate, according to the mayor’s office.
“Public health experts overwhelmingly agree, and data has proved, that wearing a face covering helps slow the spread of this deadly virus,” Mayor Bottoms said, according to the news station. “As COVID-19 rates increase, we must remain vigilant, wear a mask, follow CDC guidelines and other measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities.”
On Tuesday, the CDC made new recommendations regarding mask usage after new information revealed that the Delta variant of the coronavirus can spread among vaccinated people. They also recommended that even people who are fully vaccinated should wear masks indoors to help prevent community transmission.
Bottoms’ orders are at odds with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s announcement that he will not be issuing a statewide mask mandate.
The CDC says that fully vaccinated people usually only suffer mild symptoms if they catch COVID-19 or the Delta variant.
“Infections in fully vaccinated people (breakthrough infections) happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant,” the agency states in their latest guidance. “Moreover, when these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can be infectious and can spread the virus to others.”
Atlanta’s new mask mandate comes as cities across America are grappling with new COVID-19 data that shows transmission of the disease is rising. Kansas City, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and more have issued similar guidance.