Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp, has withdrawn his request for a court to stop enforcement of Atlanta’s requirement that face masks are worn in all public places.
But Kemp’s lawsuit against the city remains alive as both sides differ over how to best to stop the spread of the highly contagious disease caused by the coronavirus.
“The governor and the mayor continue to make progress negotiating directly on the issues addressed in the lawsuit,” Kemp spokesman Cody Hall said.
The governor argued that the city lacks the authority to override his order encouraging but not requiring face coverings.
In a statement, the Republican governor’s office said that the motion was withdrawn, “to continue productive, good faith negotiations with city officials and prepare for a future hearing on the merits of our legal position.”
Mayor Bottoms, a Democrat, has said that she would continue to defy the governor’s orders, but hoped that the two sides could find a solution.
Bottoms is one of a handful of Georgia mayors and other leaders who have enacted local mask orders in defiance of the governor.
Kemp, one of the first governors to ease statewide stay-at-home orders and business closures, has suggested that mandating masks would be too restrictive.
As Southern U.S. states have seen a spurt of new cases, Georgia has had more than 170,000 coronavirus cases and over 3,500 known fatalities.