Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has issued an executive order, barring all cities and counties from requiring people to wear face masks in public places.

The order voids at least 15 local government requirements to wear face masks in public, which Kemp said they did not have the authority to implement. Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Rom, and Athens-Clarke County, where Kemp lives, all had issued mask orders.

Kemp, who also rejected mandating masks on public property, said the requirement by city and county officials was legally unenforceable.

The order from Kemp comes as Georgia sees a spike in coronavirus cases. Nearly 14,102 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19, John Hopkins University reported. The state has 127,834 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and recvorded 3,091 deaths.

Kemp has encouraged residents to wear face masks voluntarily but has not made it a requirement since the coronavirus pandemic hit. He became one of the first governors to ease up on coronavirus restrictions after seeing a decline in confirmed cases.

His order has not come without backlash. Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, who imposed a $500 file for not wearing a face mask in the city, wrote in a Twitter post:

"It is officially official. Governor Kemp does not give a damn about us," Johnson said. "Every man and woman for himself/herself. Ignore the science and survive the best you can."

Georgia’s order also comes on the heels of Alabama’s requirement to wear face masks in public and the reclosure of some California businesses as coronavirus cases spike in regions across the U.S.

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