July 28, 2020 / 4:37 PM / 11 days ago

Georgia's Governor withdraws emergency request to stop Atlanta's mask mandate for COVID-19

ATLANTA, July 28 (Reuters) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp withdrew his emergency request Tuesday to stop enforcement of Atlanta’s mask mandate for COVID-19, while mediation in the lawsuit continues.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge canceled the afternoon hearing shortly before noon in a one-sentence ruling. Mediation on the subject was scheduled for earlier in the day, but no public comment on progress has been made from either side.

Kemp sued Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the city July 16 to stop enforcement of a local mandate requiring that masks be worn in public spaces to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The governor argued that the city lacks the authority to override his mask order which states that wearing them is encouraged, but not mandatory.

Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta

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