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Coronavirus in Georgia updates for March 23

We're providing facts, not fear. Find updates on the coronavirus outbreak impacting Georgia from Monday, March 23.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in Georgia, visit the link for March 24

Below is an archive.


At 11Alive News, our coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit 11alive.com/coronavirus-covid-19  for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about Georgia specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 404-873-9114.

State and federal officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are continually monitoring the spread of the virus. They are also working hand-in-hand with the World Health Organization to track the spread around the world and to stop it.

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

Key facts:

Monday, March 23

Atlanta Public Schools anticipates remaining closed through April 13

Given recent guidance from health officials and governmental actions, Atlanta Public Schools anticipates that the district will remain closed at least through Monday, April 13 and possibly beyond.

In a memo sent out Monday, Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen said she wanted to share the information with students and parents to allow them as much time as possible to prepare for the length of the closure.

To help answer questions, a virtual town hall meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 26 on the district's Facebook page at 4 p.m. 

Read more from Carstarphen's memo here.

City of South Fulton officials asking residents to follow governor's order

Gov. Brian Kemp said he is issuing an executive order that will require certain individuals with an "increased risk" of complications from  COVID-19 to "isolate, quarantine, or shelter in place." This order will go into effect at noon Tuesday and expire at noon on Monday, April 6.

South Fulton officials want residents to follow the governor's guidelines.

“Today, the governor announced new strategic steps that will help slow the spread of this virus. I am calling on all of my friends and neighbors in the City of South Fulton to do their parts in this fight," said South Fulton Mayor William "Bill" Edwards.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms declares 'stay-at-home' order for city of Atlanta

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an executive order establishing a state of emergency in the city of Atlanta and declaring a "stay-at-home" order for the city as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 14-day order directs all individuals living in the city to stay at home, only permitting them to leave to "provide or receive certain essential services or engage in certain essential activities."

The mayor says that for now, this does not include the city's parks, essential businesses, the Atlanta BeltLine or restaurants serving takeout.

MARTA, nation's other leading transit agency heads ask Congress for $25 billion in support

The heads of the nation's largest transit agencies collectively sent a letter to the leaders of Congress on Monday requesting that the COVID-19 federal relief package being considered on Capitol Hill include at least $25 billion in support for public transportation.

Overall ridership on each of the systems has been dropping precipitously across the nation since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. Each of the municipalities represented has been hit with stay-at-home governmental orders with the sole exception of Atlanta.

The letter is signed by the heads of MARTA, New York City's MTA, Seattle's King County Metro Transit, San Francisco's SFMTA and BART, Washington's Metro, Los Angeles' Metro, New Jersey Transit, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, and the Chicago Transit Authority.  

Dunwoody orders more businesses to close their doors to protect against COVID-19

Following a special city council meeting on Monday, the Dunwoody City Council voted to require the temporary closure of businesses that provide "massage, manicure, hairstyling, or personal grooming services."

The move came to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for employees and the public.

The closure begins at midnight Monday night and lasts 30 days, unless lifted or extended by the council.

Rome Schools provide needed medical supplies to hospitals, medical facilities

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the nation, shortages of medical supplies are becoming more common in communities everywhere.

Holly Ameman, Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) Director for the Rome City Schools said on Monday that she, along with other CTAE Directors in school systems across the state, had received a request from the state Board of Education to see what medical supplies their schools may have and be able to provide to local health providers.

“I received the email from the Department of Education last Friday and immediately reached out to my contact at Floyd Hospital, Chris Butler to see what they could use,” said Amerman. “The answer was yes to everything we had on hand so we didn’t waste any time getting it together.”

Between Rome Middle School and Rome High School, Ameman said she was able to cull together materials from various healthcare programs that require CPR certifications, simulations and other items used by students. As a result, more than 30,000 gloves, 3,000 masks, 1,000 gowns and countless numbers of wipes and other materials were gathered and donated to Floyd Hospital and other medical facilities in the region.  

Coronavirus cases in Georgia soar to 800, 1 additional death reported

One additional person has died related to the coronavirus, according to the state, as the number of cases soars to 800. 

The number of cases in Fulton County has surpassed 150, while Cobb, DeKalb, Dougherty and Bartow counties are each reporting more than 60 cases. The number falls off sharply from there, with Gwinnett reporting the next-highest number of cases.

Credit: WXIA

According to the numbers, those age 18-to-59 years old make up the majority (59%) of cases, while those age 60+ have the second-highest cases (36%).

The breakdown of cases is as follows: 

Fulton - 153
Cobb - 79
Dekalb - 74
Dougherty - 69
Bartow - 61
Gwinnett - 35
Cherokee - 24
Carroll - 21
Clayton - 19
Lee -19
Clarke - 14
Fayette - 11
Richmond -11
Floyd - 10
Hall - 10
Coweta - 9
Henry - 9
Lowndes - 8
Douglas - 7
Forsyth - 7
Gordon - 6
Paulding -  
Rockdale - 5
Chatham - 4
Glynn - 4
Newton - 4
Polk - 4
Spalding - 4
Troup - 4
Columbia - 3
Lamar - 3
Oconee - 3
Peach - 3
Pickens - 3
Worth - 3
Baldwin - 2
Bibb - 2
Butts - 2
Early - 2
Effingham - 2
Laurens - 2
Lumpkin - 2
Muscogee - 2
Sumter - 2
Terrell - 2
Tift - 2
Whitfield - 2
Barrow - 1
Burke - 1
Catoosa - 1
Charlton - 1
Chattooga - 1
Clinch - 1
Coffee - 1
Dawson - 1
Harris - 1
Heard - 1
Houston - 1
Liberty - 1
Lincoln - 1
Madison - 1
Miller - 1
Monroe - 1
Morgan - 1
Pierce - 1
Randolph - 1
Tattnall - 1
Turner - 1
Twiggs - 1
Washington - 1
Unknown - 46 

Milton mayor allows restaurants to serve sealed wine and beer to go 

Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood signed a set of four executive orders on Monday for the city in light of the coronavirus pandemic to help support the city's business community.

Included among the four orders, customers at Milton's table-service restaurants to purchase sealed bottles or wine and beer without having to go inside. Other parts of the executive orders include an extension for the renewal of business licenses and allowing new signs.

Click here for additional details regarding the city of Milton's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kemp bans large gatherings | Orders shelter in place

Governor Brian Kemp announced a new executive order that will go into effect on Tuesday, March 24 at noon. There will be a shelter in place order for people who are medically fragile and the most at risk. 

He said the order covers those who are living in long-term care facilities, have lung disease, are undergoing cancer treatment, have a positive COVID-19 test, are suspected to have COVID-19 because of their symptoms or exposure or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. 

Kemp also ordered all bars and nightclubs in the state to close -- and is banning all gatherings of 10 or more people -- unless you are able to maintain six feet between people at all times. 

He said the Department of Public Health will be empowered to close any business or establishment, nonprofit or organization for noncompliance. 


Gov. Brian Kemp addresses citizens

Gov. Brian Kemp is addressing the citizens of Georgia during a 5 p.m. press conference from the state capitol. 

Kemp is joined by Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey and will provide the latest efforts by the state in the COVID-19 outbreak. 

All Cobb County parks closed

In the interest of public health and to encourage social distancing, all Cobb County outdoor parks are closed until further notice, government officials announced on Monday. 

As of Noon, Georgia Public Health officials reported 79 positive cases in Cobb County - the second highest behind Fulton County. 

Doctors: Don't close Atlanta parks, BeltLine

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the BeltLine and the city's parks would remain open, on the advice of doctors including Emory's Dr. Carlos Del Rio and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a high-profile CNN medical analyst and Atlanta resident.

While the BeltLine would be a major draw for congestion as one of the last popular public places still open as normal, Bottoms said the doctors recommended "that we not close our parks and the Atlanta BeltLine because during the isolation period it's still going to be important for mental and physical health reasons that people continue to go out and exercise."

"We're not at point of shutting down the parks and BeltLine yet but will continue to monitor that and adjust accordingly," she said.

Atlanta mayor says stay-at-home order 'in place,' but delayed for now at governor's request

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told city council members Monday she has an executive order that is essentially a stay-at-home order "in place" for the city of Atlanta, but that she is holding off on issuing it for now at the request of the governor.

Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to deliver remarks updating the public on Georgia's coronavirus response at 5 p.m.

FULL STORY: Mayor: Atlanta stay-at-home order 'in place,' but delayed for now at governor's request

Georgia Tech student who traveled out of state for spring break tests positive

A Georgia Tech student who recently traveled out of state with friends for the first weekend of spring break, has tested positive for COVID-19, the school said. 

The student was last "actively" on campus on March 11. The student who tested positive visited Stamps Health Center on Wednesday, March 18, and had a sample sent to Georgia Department of Public Health, they said. 

Georgia Tech was notified of the positive test result on Monday. The student who tested positive and the students he traveled with live off campus and currently are self-isolating.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Georgia with 772 confirmed and 25 deaths

The Georgia Department of Health announced new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. As of Noon, there are 772 confirmed cases of the virus and 25 deaths reported. This is up from the 620 confirmed cases that they announced on Sunday. There are no new deaths since Sunday. 

Of the 772 confirmed cases, 145 are in Fulton, 79 are in Cobb, 75 are in DeKalb, 64 are in Dougherty and 61 are in Bartow. In all, there are cases reported in 67 counties (45 cases are listed as unknown counties). For a breakdown by county, view the 11Alive interactive map.

Of the confirmed cases, 1 percent are between the ages of 0-17, while 59 percent are 18-59 years old, 36 percent are over 60 and 4 percent are unknown. It is a 50/50 split between men and women. 

"Today’s significant increase in cases is in part reflective of improvement in electronic reporting efficiency from commercial laboratories," the department said.  

In total, 3,824 tests were conducted at commercial labs, reporting 608 positive cases. At the Department of Public Health Labratory, 1,245 tests were conducted with 164 positive results.   

Fulton 145
Cobb 79
Dekalb 75
Dougherty 64
Bartow 61
Gwinnett 34
Carroll 21
Cherokee 20
Clayton 18
Lee 16
Clarke 14
Richmond 11
Fayette 10
Floyd 10
Hall 10
Coweta 9
Henry 9
Lowndes 8
Douglas 7
Forsyth 7
Gordon 5
Paulding 5
Chatham 4
Glynn 4
Newton 4
Polk 4
Rockdale 4
Spalding 4
Troup 4
Columbia 3
Lamar 3
Oconee 3
Peach 3
Worth 3
Baldwin 2
Bibb 2
Butts 2
Early 2
Effingham 2
Laurens 2
Lumpkin 2
Muscogee 2
Pickens 2
Sumter 2
Terrell 2
Tift 2
Whitfield 2
Barrow 1
Catoosa 1
Charlton 1
Chattooga 1
Clinch 1
Coffee 1
Dawson 1
Heard 1
Houston 1
Lincoln 1
Madison 1
Miller 1
Monroe 1
Morgan 1
Pierce 1
Randolph 1
Tattnall 1
Turner 1
Twiggs 1
Washington 1
Unknown 45

Atlanta Air Show postponed to 2021

The Atlanta Air Show will not be happening this year, they announced today. 

Event and airport officials have agreed on a new weekend for the show – May 22-23, 2021. 

Tickets that have already been purchased or issued for the event will be honored on the rescheduled date.

DeKalb state of emergency order bans public gatherings of 10 people, calls for curfew

DeKalb County has issued a state of emergency order, banning public gatherings of 10 or more people, instituting a 10-person max capacity at certain businesses and calling for a voluntary curfew.

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond issued the order and made it effective today. It outlines how the county workforce will continue to provide services, county economic relief efforts and public health restrictions.

Public gatherings of 10 or more people in the county are prohibited and people are being asked to adhere to a voluntary curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Some necessary outings that are exempted include "trips to and from work, for medical treatment, food, medication or emergency."

FULL STORY: DeKalb state of emergency order bans public gatherings of 10 people, calls for curfew

Fulton County Jail inmate tests positive for COVID-19

A Fulton County Jail inmate has tested positive for COVID-19, a representative from the Fulton County Sheriff's office said. 

The man in his 30s is currently hospitalized. They said he has been undergoing treatment for a chronic illness that may have rendered him more susceptible to the virus.

"Jail staff are retracing his movements to find persons who came in contact with the patient prior to the diagnosis to include his roommate who is in isolation," a press release from the sheriff's office said.

Other inmates in the area have not shown signs of the virus and are on lockdown at this time for their safety, they said. The floor where the ill inmate was housed has been sanitized. 

"The jail always follows a strict cleaning regimen and that was enhanced after the outbreak of COVID-19," the press release said.

The sheriff's office said 30 inmates were released from the Fulton County Jail system since Friday. These were inmates with release dates whose files were evaluated by jail staff to determine whether the defendants were eligible to get out of jail early. This is a measure to mitigate jail overcrowding during the pandemic.

City of East Point forces all non-essential businesses, parks and playgrounds to close

The City of East Point city council voted to adopt a second emergency ordinance shutting down all restaurant dining rooms, gyms, and all non-essential businesses for seven days. 

“Since there have been continued instances of large numbers of people congregating in areas of the City after the adoption of the first emergency ordinance, it is imperative that we take additional measures for the health, welfare and safety of our community during this unprecedented global pandemic,” said Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham. 

All East Point parks and playground facilities are closed to the public. 

For further details, go to http://www.eastpointcity.org/

City of Gainesville suspends bus service

The City of Gainesville announced Monday they are suspending all Gainesville Connection services through April 3. 

They said Dial-A-Ride services will continue, but with half the fleet normally running routes.

Southern Company donates $2.5 million

The Southern Company Gas Foundation, Southern Company Gas and its subsidiaries are investing $2.5 million to support the coronavirus relief efforts in seven states, including Georgia. 

They said they are taking "immediate action" to address the increasing difficulties the global health crisis is creating for those living across the regions it serves."

“These are unprecedented times, and it’s more important than ever for us to engage with those who know our communities’ needs best,” said Kim Greene, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company Gas. “Whether it’s supporting healthcare providers and first responders or agencies focused on helping businesses and their employees get back on their feet, we are committed to providing resources where they are needed most."

State Senator Nikema Williams tests positive for COVID-19

State Senator Nikema Williams, of District 39, tested positive for the coronavirus. Williams confirmed the news on her Facebook page Sunday evening. She revealed that she saw her primary care physician on Monday night and at that time there were no coronavirus tests available. Her doctor tested her for the flu and for strep -- both of which were negative. 

She was able to take a drive-thru COVID-19 test on Thursday afternoon. Williams described the wait for the results as "brutal" and said it was hard to explain to her 4-year-old why "Mommy doesn't feel good." She said the test confirmed what she already knew because she can't recall the last time she has a fever. 

She ended her lengthy Facebook post with some tips and another powerful message. 

"The positive #COVID19 test result was also a reminder that it’s not just 60+-year-olds or people already sick that are testing positive. YOU can get this too. Many of you reading this already have the Coronavirus and are showing no symptoms. STAY HOME. We must ALL do our part!!! I’ll be staying home until my quarantine is over AND I’m symptom-free for at least 72 hours."

Things to know Monday morning

  • Pike Nurseries suspending in-store operations; offering delivery, curbside service
  • Goodwill of North Georgia closing stores for two weeks 
  • Uber adds discounts for rides headed to APS food distribution centers 
  • 11Alive employee tests positive for coronavirus  

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. 


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