ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia’s 26 public universities and colleges will mandate campus-wide mask wearing after the state university system reversed itself on Monday. The University System of Georgia had previously told schools they should “strongly encourage” students and others to wear masks. But system leaders had said Georgia’s 26 universities couldn’t mandate face coverings for their 330,000 students despite concerns about COVID-19 transmission. Masks became a point of contention because all the universities, at the behest of regents, are planning face-to-face instruction beginning in August. Many faculty and employees demanded masks be mandated to slow virus transmission. Administrators now say all faculty, staff, students and visitors must wear masks inside buildings beginning July 15.
MOULTRIE, Ga. (AP) – A coroner says a 9-year-old Georgia girl died and her sister was seriously wounded from a lightning strike as a storm moved through the area. Colquitt County Coroner Verlyn Brock told news outlets Sunday that Nicol Mateo Pedro was struck and killed as she and others sought refuge from a sudden storm under a wooden shelter. WSB-TV reported that lightning struck a pine tree next to the shelter, and the bolt of electricity traveled to the shelter, hitting the girl as she sat on a bench. Pedro’s 15-year-old sister was burned by the lightning strike and was airlifted to a burn center.
ATLANTA (AP) – Atlanta’s mayor says she has tested positive for COVID-19, despite having what she describes as “no symptoms.” The 50-year-old Democrat is among the women named as a potential vice-presidential running mate for presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden. Bottoms announced her positive test in a tweet on Monday. She says she decided that she and family members should get retested because her husband has been sleeping an unusual amount since Thursday. Bottoms’ national profile has risen in recent months both as a mayor handling the coronavirus pandemic and amid the national reckoning on race since the death of George Floyd.
ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency and authorized the activation of National Guard troops after a weekend of violence where an 8-year-old girl and four others were killed. Troops will provide support at certain locations including the Capitol and governor’s mansion, freeing up state law enforcement resources to patrol other areas. The killing of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner has prompted a $10,000 reward for information as authorities in Atlanta search for at least two people who opened fire on the car she was riding in. Police say the car she was in tried to get through an illegal barricade placed near the Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed.