Mayor Bottoms Declares State Of Emergency, Public Gatherings Of 250 Or More Banned

Under the ban, the Mayor could potentially impose a curfew, close businesses!

March 16, 2020
Mayor Bottoms

Marcus Ingram / Stringer

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City of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced a ban on large public gatherings in effort to stop the spread of COVID19 in the city amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“In an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, I have declared a State of Emergency within the city of Atlanta, prohibiting large public gatherings of more than 250 people,” Bottoms said on her Twitter page Sunday evening.

The ban will continue through the end of the month. Under the ban, the Mayor could potentially impose a curfew, close businesses and city-owned buildings and other facilities opened to the public. 

Atlanta has become the latest city to enact a gathering ban in the United States. Dallas has a ban on gatherings of 500 people or more and Pittsburgh announced a ban on gatherings of 50 people or more after initially declaring a ban on in line with Atlanta’s.

The moves come as Georgia has 99 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. It also comes a day after Gov. Brian Kemp announce a state of emergency for Georgia.

Georgia had its first coronavirus-related death last week. On Thursday, Kemp confirmed the 67-year-old male who died had tested positive for the COVID-19 illness on March 7 and also had “underlying medical conditions.”

Mayor Keisha Bottoms announced the ban Sunday shortly before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a ban on gatherings of 50 people and more. Examples of mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events and weddings. 

“This is a quickly evolving public health crisis,” Bottoms said in a separate tweet. “We will continue to evaluate and adjust our policies accordingly.”

A ban as restrictive as what the CDC suggests could essentially shut down the city. The CDC’s recommendations don’t apply to the day-to-day operations of schools, colleges, and businesses.