Georgia officials tussle over mask mandates

Georgia’s Republican governor sued the Democratic mayor of Atlanta on Thursday after she refused to cancel a mask requirement in the state’s largest city. “Science and data will continue to drive the city’s decision,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. At least 15 cities and counties in Georgia have ordered residents to wear masks in public to combat the spread of COVID-19, but Gov. Brian Kemp ordered local leaders to rescind those rules. The governor supports wearing masks but said city and county officials lack the authority to overrule health requirements set by the state.

How widespread are mask mandates? Arkansas on Thursday joined 25 states and the District of Columbia in requiring residents to wear masks in public. Businesses are following suit. CVS will require customers nationwide to wear face coverings at its stores starting on Monday, as will its competitor Walgreens. Shoppers at all Target locations will need masks after Aug. 1. CVS COO Jon Roberts said employees won’t enforce the rule but asked customers to “protect themselves and those around them by listening to the experts and heeding the call to wear a face covering.”

Dig deeper: Read Julie Borg’s report in Beginnings about why experts have offered conflicting information about the pandemic.

Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2020, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

About the writer

Seth Johnson is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute student course.

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