Atlanta, GA

Atlanta mayor reinstates mask mandate as COVID-19 cases surge, direct response to Omicron variant

Gené Hunter

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(ATLANTA, Ga.) With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and the impact of the Omicron variant of the virus, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has decided to issue an executive order to reinstate the citywide indoor mask mandate.

The decision came Tuesday afternoon and was sent out in a tweet update via The City of Atlanta’s account.

The city is back in the "yellow zone" based on current COVID-19 data, according to the tweet. The spread indicators are monitored over 10 days and include the following for the yellow zone:

  • Cases average between 75-249%
  • Hospitalizations average between 201-349%
  • Diagnostic test positivity between 5.1-10%

"The order is in response to the rising number of COVID-19 infections and the impact of the Omicron variant," the city said.

The order requires "all persons in a public place, including private businesses and establishments, to wear a mask or a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when indoors," a news release said.

Doctors have found that COVID symptoms can emerge as soon as two days after infection, or as long as 14 days after infection. Normally, someone who tests positive would quarantine for seven to 10 days after the symptoms emerge.

“We are watching the data daily and will continue to engage experts for guidance on how best to provide for the safety and wellbeing of our communities," Bottoms said in the release

In addition to cases surging, on Monday, Atlanta Mayor-elect Andre Dickens tested positive for COVID-19. He shared the news on social media Monday evening. Dickens said since the Omicron variant has been surging, he has increased getting tested for the virus to every other day. He said he is still waiting for the results of a PCR test. Dickens said he is fully vaccinated.

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