ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is suing Atlanta to block the city from enforcing its mandate to wear a mask in public and other rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kemp and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, in a state court suit filed late Thursday, argued that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has overstepped her authority and must obey Kemp’s executive orders under state law.
The suit comes a day after Kemp clarified his executive orders to expressly block Atlanta and at least 14 other local governments from requiring people to wear face coverings.
Kemp’s order was met with defiance Thursday by Bottoms and other mayors, who said they would continue enforcing their mandates and were prepared to go to court.
Kemp has maintained a policy of voluntary use of masks throughout the state.
Georgia has seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the past week. In recent days, the state is averaging about 3,000 new cases a day — by far the highest totals since the pandemic began.
The CDC recommends that everyone wear a mask in public, particularly during situations where social distancing is difficult.