Georgia gov. explicitly voids mask orders in 15 localities

Coronavirus

ATLANTA (AP/WSAV) — Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp is explicitly banning Georgia’s cities and counties from ordering people to wear masks in public places.

He’s voiding orders that at least 15 local governments across the state had adopted even though Kemp had earlier said cities and counties had no power to order masks.

Any state, county, or municipal law, order, ordinance, rule, or regulation that requires persons to wear face coverings, masks, face shields, or any other Personal Protective Equipment while in places of public accommodation or on public property are suspended to the extent that they are more restrictive than this Executive Order

“We have explained that local mask mandates are unenforceable,” said Candice Broce, a spokesperson for Kemp. “The Governor continues to strongly encourage Georgians to wear masks in public.”

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson responded to the governor’s order Wednesday night on social media:

It is officially official. Governor Kemp does not give a damn about us. It is officially every man and woman for himself/herself. Ignore the science and survive the best you can.

In #Savannah, we will continue to keep the faith and follow the science. Our masks will continue to be available.

An increasing number of other states order residents to wear masks in public, including Alabama, which announced such a ban Wednesday.

The new order also extends the ban on gatherings of more than 50 people, renews business restrictions and requires those living in nursing homes, as well as the medically fragile, to shelter in place.

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