Kemp. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) issued an executive order on Wednesday banning cities and counties from making face masks mandatory in public and explicitly voiding such mandates in at least 15 local governments, according to AP.

Why it matters: Kemp argued that statewide recommendations that strongly encourage but do not require masks should take precedent over local orders. Mask orders in major Georgia cities including Atlanta, Savannah and Athens will now be unenforceable, despite major upticks in confirmed coronavirus cases.

  • Georgia reported 3,871 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday — marking its second-highest daily total to date, per NPR.
  • Half of all new Georgia cases are being reported in Atlanta, where Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms herself has tested positive for the virus.

The big picture: Kemp, who was one of the first governors in the country to ease lockdown restrictions, extended some mitigation measures on Wednesday, requiring restaurants and businesses to observe social distancing and restrict gatherings to less than 50 people.

  • He has also ordered COVID-19-vulnerable populations, including the elderly and immunocompromised, to continue sheltering in place.
  • Kemp's latest order will expire at the end of the month.

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At least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic

Former California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell on Feb. 27 in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At least 48 local and state-level public health leaders have retired, resigned or been fired across 23 states since April, according to a review by the AP and Kaiser Health News.

Driving the news: California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell resigned on Sunday without explanation, a few days after the state fixed a delay in reporting coronavirus test results that had affected reopenings for schools and businesses, AP reports.

15 hours ago - Health

Europe's CDC recommends new virus restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases"

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The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned on Monday that the continent is seeing a "true resurgence" in coronavirus cases and recommended that affected countries consider reimposing certain restrictions.

Why it matters: Many European countries, including former global hotspots Italy and Spain, were able to successfully curb the spread of COVID-19 over the summer through stringent lockdown restrictions and a phased reopening. The ECDC warned that the "recent increase" in infections is a result of countries relaxing their social distancing and other mitigation measures.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S.