In one of his first official acts as mayor of Atlanta, Andre Dickens on Monday extended the city’s indoor mask mandate, which includes wearing face coverings inside private businesses like restaurants and bars when not seated and actively engaged in eating or drinking.
As with the previous mask mandate, fines of up to $50 will be imposed for individual noncompliance. This latest mandate also includes a temporary moratorium on certain residential evictions within City of Atlanta.
Former Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms reinstated the mask mandate back on December 21, 2021 as COVID-19 cases began to surge in the city due to the highly transmissible omicron variant. Like Bottoms, Dickens will likely follow Atlanta’s color-coded system in determining when to lift the mandate. A system implemented last summer, COVID-19 cases must average between 20 to 75 per day for the city to enter the green zone, something briefly achieved earlier last fall. The blue zone must see cases averaging under 20 per day within the city.
Prior to the Christmas holiday weekend, scores of Atlanta restaurants closed after employees tested positive for the virus, shattering hopes of a holiday rebound after nearly 18 months of financial upheaval caused by the ongoing pandemic. Many Atlanta restaurants ended up remaining closed through New Year’s Eve or opened for outdoor dining or takeout only through the holidays.
Since Christmas, cases in Fulton County, in which the city of Atlanta resides, have skyrocketed to record levels, with a 300 percent increase in the number of recorded COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks and a positivity rate of 22 percent.
Read the mayor’s full executive order below: