Breaking News
More () »

Atlanta Mayor: 'We can't get to the other side of this if we piecemeal our way out of this crisis'

She said nothing has changed of the deadly virus since the shelter-in-place order was lifted.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she's disappointed. Not just because the shelter-in-place order has been lifted, but that people aren't abiding by the guidelines laid out in the order to practice social distancing and limit crowd sizes.

After much attention was focused on the City of Atlanta this past weekend with large crowds gathering at parks, malls and other locations, Bottoms is trying to get the message to citizens that the fight isn't over.

"I was surprised. And I'm ashamed to say it. Maybe I should not have been. But I thought that people still recognized that this is a deadly virus," she told 11Alive's Cheryl Preheim in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

With four kids in her own home, she said she's constantly reminding them that nothing has changed and people are still dying. 

RELATED: To those not social distancing, Atlanta's mayor has this message

"It's like playing Russian roulette when you go out and you don't take all the precautions that we know help keep you from contracting COVID-19," she said. 

Bottoms added that the next two to three weeks are pivotal in understanding the impact on reopening the state.

"This is one that I hope to be wrong on. I want to look at the numbers in two to three weeks and see that everything is find and our numbers haven't gone up significantly and that there aren't more people that are sick and dying in our state." 

She told 11Alive that she understands that some people are venturing out because of economic reasons and they don't have much of a choice. But the other group, who she calls the thrill seekers, needs to adhere to the guidelines.

RELATED: Atlanta mayor says she 'didn't have any input or influence' on Kemp decision to end statewide shelter-in-place

She urged citizens who are in public places where they cannot socially distance to wear masks. Not only to protect those around them, but to protect those who are serving to keep everyone safe. 

"Even in sending our officers in to break up large crowds, we're sending our officers into danger when people don't have face masks," she said. "It would be my wish that we wore face masks, and that there were some requirements with certain parameters."

Bottoms simply wants people to stay home.

"We can't get to the other side of this if we piecemeal our way out of this crisis," she said. 

On what is known as Giving Tuesday, Bottoms shared that her 12-year-old son donated $100 to the ATL Strong fund out of his allowance savings to the cause. 

To donate, visit ATLstrong.org.

Every little bit counts, she said.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information. 

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 


Whistleblower: US failed to prepare, sought quick virus fix

Who are our workers on the front lines?

Coronavirus in Georgia | Cases rise as public eases social distancing, testing increases

Before You Leave, Check This Out