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Coronavirus in Georgia updates for March 24

We're providing facts, not fear. Find updates on the coronavirus outbreak impacting Georgia from Tuesday, March 24.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in Georgia, visit the link for March 25:

Below is an archive 

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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 404-885-7600.

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:

Credit: WXIA

Tuesday, March 24 

Target employee at Edgewood store in Atlanta tests positive for COVID-19

A Target employee at the Edgewood store in Atlanta has a positive case of the coronavirus, according to a spokesperson for the company.

Below is a statement provided:

We’re working in close partnership with local health departments and can share that a Target team member at our Edgewood store in Atlanta has a positive case of the coronavirus. Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members and guests, and we’re taking a number of steps to move forward. First, we’ve communicated directly with the impacted team member, who is in quarantine and following all health department guidelines, and we’ll pay them while they’re on leave. We’ve also worked quickly to deep clean and sanitize the store, which is the recommendation of public health experts. We’ve notified the entire store team and provided them with the appropriate CDC guidance. We’ll continue to first and foremost take care of our team and guests.  

East Point officials establish citywide curfew

The East Point City Council voted on its third emergency ordinance Tuesday, which now is requires residents to stay home  "to the maximum extent possible for the next 14 days."

This goes into effect Wednesday, March 25, at 12 a.m. In a news release, city officials said residents can leave their homes "to provide or receive essential services or engage in essential activities".

They are establishing a citywide curfew from 9 p.m. until 7 p.m. daily until the morning of April 7. 

Those who are exempt from the curfew are first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, law enforcement, people performing essential government functions, healthcare providers and those seeking healthcare attention. 

People who are homeless are also exempt from the curfew, however, they are encouraged to find shelter.

Childcare facilities are considered an essential business.

Get more information about the ordinance on the city's website.

City of Griffin declares public health state of emergency

The Board of Commissioners for the City of Griffin has declared a public health state of emergency. This will remain in place for 14 days. 

Officials are prohibiting pubic gatherings of more than 10 people. Restaurants cannot offer dine-in services; takeout and drive-thru services are allowed. 

Essential business is allowed. 

Officials imposed a curfew from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., effective immediately. More details about the curfew and information about the declaration was posted on the city's Facebook page. 

Brookhaven extending state of emergency, asking residents to stay home

The City of Brookhaven has decided to extend and clarify its emergency declaration. They are also telling residents to shelter-in-place.

“Brookhaven was the first city to declare a state of emergency and take action to prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus. Now that other governments have stepped up and enacted measures to promote responsible social distancing, our extension and clarifying language keeps us all on the same page as we collectively fight to contain the spread of Coronavirus,” said Mayor John Ernst. 

While restaurant dine-in and counter services are suspended until April 15, delivery and takeout services are still allowed.

City officials also said gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.

"In addition, all Brookhaven residents are instructed and directed to remain at home unless engaged in essential services, performing essential government services, or to operate essential businesses," officials said in a news release.  

They said the declaration allows for daily tasks necessary to maintain health and well-being, which includes getting food, medical supplies, and taking walks or hikes. With all activities, social distancing should be exercised. 

City hall along with its parks and recreational facilities are closed through April 15. 

Coca-Cola CEO: No layoff plans, but expect 'profound economic shock' in Q2

The stock market has been pummeled and the second-quarter balance sheets will be ugly. But Coca-Cola CEO and Chairman James Quincey says he's nowhere near ready to panic.

"We’ve got crisis adjustment in our DNA," said Quincey on Tuesday during CNBC's Squawk on the Street program.

Quincey said he remains optimistic about The Coca-Cola Co.'s long-term health and its increasingly diversified beverage portfolio, while acknowledging the company has not been immune to the widespread economic pain created by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Quincey called the supply chain around the world "creaky" and said there are "flash points when it’s getting a little harder to get ingredients through, whether it’s delays at the borders, the big changes in channel mix." However, Quincey added the Atlanta-based beverage giant started the pandemic in a "robust position" and has a clear approach to getting through the "darkest hour" of fighting the virus.

Read the full story at the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Cobb County declares state of emergency

Cobb County has become the latest major metro Atlanta county to declare a state of emergency.

On Tuesday night, the county confirmed that Chairman Mike Boyce issued the executive order, which activates the county's Emergency Operations Plan and orders restrictions for residents to shelter in place. The executive order takes effect at noon March 25, and lasts until April 15.

Under the order, public gatherings — whether inside or outdoors — of more than 10 people are prohibited anywhere in the county. The executive order requires restaurants to close dining rooms to the public and perform only take-out or delivery services. The county has also closed all parks and recreation buildings until further notice. 

“This is unprecedented times for the nation, state and Cobb County,” Chairman Boyce said. “The health and safety of our residents is our top priority. We are taking the necessary steps as recommended by public health experts to ensure that the county is prepared and responding to this virus, and this order helps us do that.”

RELATED: Cobb County declares state of emergency, bans public gatherings of more than 10 people

In addition, Boyce said that all businesses, except "essential businesses" as outlined in the declaration, will be restricted from operating outside the hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Those essential businesses that remain open will still have to abide by the 6-foot social distancing guidelines. (A defined list of essential businesses is can be viewed on Cobb County’s COVID-19 page.) 

Chairman Boyce added that the Declaration may be revised if public health experts do not believe it is significantly slowing the rate of the virus’s spread. 

To date, there are 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cobb County.

Nearly 1,100 cases reported; 6 additional deaths 

The number of confirmed cases in the state has spiked to 1,097, according to numbers just released by the Georgia Department of Public Health. There were also a six additional deaths reported since the noon update, bringing the number of lives claimed by the virus to 38.

The health department has also started to track the number of patients hospitalized by the virus, and in their first update said that 361 people were being treated for the virus. 

Fulton continues to report the highest number of cases, with 191. DeKalb has 107 instances of the virus, Dougherty has 101 cases, Cobb has 90 cases and Bartow has 76.

The county-by-county breakdown is as follows: 

Fulton - 191
DeKalb - 107
Dougherty - 101
Cobb - 90
Bartow - 76
Gwinnett - 46
Cherokee - 30
Carroll - 26
Lee - 24
Clayton - 21
Clarke - 17
Hall - 16
Henry - 13
Douglas - 12
Fayette - 12
Floyd - 12
Lowndes - 11
Coweta - 10
Richmond - 10
Forsyth - 8
Gordon - 8
Polk - 8
Rockdale - 8
Chatham - 7
Columbia - 6
Laurens - 6
Newton - 6
Paulding - 6
Troup - 6
Early - 5
Glynn - 5
Houston - 5
Oconee - 5
Spalding - 5
Bibb - 4
Mitchell - 4
Muscogee - 4
Pickens - 4
Sumter - 4
Tift - 4
Worth - 4
Baker - 3
Crisp - 3
Effingham - 3
Lamar - 3
Lumpkin - 3
Monroe - 3
Peach - 3
Terrell - 3
Baldwin - 2
Barrow - 2
Bryan - 2
Butts - 2
Coffee - 2
Seminole - 2
Stephens - 2
Whitfield - 2
Ben Hill - 1
Burke - 1
Camden - 1
Catoosa - 1
Charlton - 1
Chattooga - 1
Clinch - 1
Colquitt - 1
Dawson - 1
Fannin - 1
Greene - 1  
Harris - 1
Heard - 1
Irwin - 1
Jasper - 1
Liberty - 1
Lincoln - 1
Macon - 1
Madison - 1
Meriwether - 1
Miller - 1
Morgan - 1
Pierce - 1
Pulaski - 1
Randolph - 1
Tattnall - 1
Telfair - 1
Turner - 1
Twiggs - 1
Walton - 1
Washington - 1
Unknown - 79 

Kia to shut down production at Georgia plant

Kia announced it is shutting down production at its plant in Georgia next week due to the spread of COVID-19 and supply chain concerns, they announced Tuesday. 

"In response to the unprecedented situation arising with the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and supply chain concerns, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. will suspend production at its West Point, Ga. facility effective Monday, March 30," they said in a news release.

A previously planned shutdown had already been scheduled for April 6-10 for "new model equipment changes," so production is planned to resume on Monday, April 13, they said.

"While operations are suspended, KMMG will perform additional cleaning and disinfecting processes of work stations throughout the plant, the release said. "The adjustment will also provide team members with time for adjusting personal and family priorities related to the impact of the COVID-19 virus."

Gov. Kemp to Georgia businesses: 'Support us' in fight against COVID-19

Gov. Brian Kemp is calling on all businesses who are able, to help the state battle the spread of the the COVID-19 coronavirus

The governor issued the plea, asking for businesses across the state help provide produce, distribute or store critical health care items the state needs to fight the spread of the virus.

“As our state’s hardworking healthcare workers and first responders stand on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19, it is our job to come together as Georgians and arm them with the necessary resources to keep them safe and effective,” Kemp said. “Now more than ever, I am confident in both our nation and our state’s ability to work in solidarity as we continue to fight spread of COVID-19. I ask all Georgia businesses who are able to support us in the fight against this global pandemic.” 

As Trump seeks to reopen economy, infectious disease doctor says 'erase April'

One of the nation's leading infectious disease doctors says the U.S. needs to shut down for as long as a month or we could be setting ourselves up for a national malaise that could last six or even eight months.

Emory expert Dr. Carlos Del Rio told former 11Alive reporter Jaye Watson in an interview today on the school's Facebook page that, contrary to President Trump's desire to see things functioning at fully capacity again by Easter (April 12), we need to "erase April from the calendar."

Sandy Springs rolls out new guidelines

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul has issued new guidelines in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Failure to comply with these directives, Paul said, may lead to more restrictive action by Council in the future. Officials said these restrictions apply to all citizens, regardless of age. 

"The sooner we can bring COVID-19 under control, the sooner we can start to bring normalcy back to our daily lives," Mayor Paul said.

Click here to read the guidelines online.

Coca-Cola Foundation awards $13.5 million grants toward relief efforts

After contributing nearly $2 million toward relief efforts in China and Italy, Coca-Cola is now stepping up in the United States, Canada and right here in Atlanta. 

The Coca-Cola Foundation announced it is awarding a total of $13.5 million in grants to five non-profit organizations that are "working on the front lines of the U.S. and Canadian humanitarian response to the coronavirus pandemic."

The latest grants support organizations focused on providing relief to first responders and residents of economically disadvantaged communities, in Atlanta and across North America, they said. 

“We are deeply concerned about the growing impact of coronavirus in Atlanta and beyond, especially in the most vulnerable parts of our communities,” said James Quincey, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. 

Previously, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta announced that The Coca-Cola Foundation provided a grant of $5 million for its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.  

Organizations receiving a portion of the $13.5 million include: Feeding America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada, Food Banks Canada and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.  

Hall County forces restaurants to close all dining rooms

The Hall County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution today to close all dining rooms and patios at bars and restaurants in the county beginning 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 25 in an effort to protect the health and wellness of citizens in the midst of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. 

"The health and safety of the Hall County community remains at the forefront of our minds," Hall County Commission Chairman Richard Higgins said. "We are doing everything we can within our power to minimize the spread of this virus and to protect the public from its reach."

Chamblee issues voluntary curfew, regulations for businesses

The City of Chamblee has issued a voluntary curfew for its residents and has told businesses they are only allowed to operate under certain hours. 

All businesses, they said, are not allowed to open earlier than 6 a.m. and must close by 9 p.m.

Along with that, residents are asked to participate in a voluntary curfew beginning at 9 p.m. and ending at 6 a.m., except for necessary trips to and from work, for medical treatment, food or medication or other emergency.

DeKalb County Jail inmate, employee tests positive

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has its first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, they said on Tuesday.

A 35-year old male inmate in the DeKalb County Jail is undergoing treatment at Grady Memorial Hospital after he tested positive for the virus during a medical assessment while in custody in the hospital, a sheriff's office spokesman said. 

A 57 year-old male employee, whose job has no contact with inmates, has also been confirmed as having tested positive for the COVID-19 virus while out on sick leave, they said.

The sheriff’s office learned of both medical reports today.

“We were informed of the inmate’s screening results by Grady physicians who were treating the inmate for other medical concerns,” says Sheriff Melody M. Maddox. “Upon notification, we immediately instituted our protocols for identifying and isolating individuals who might have had contact with the inmate since he has been incarcerated here.

Here's how you can volunteer with the Georgia Dept. of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is receiving offers from medical professionals and other individuals looking for ways to help with the COVID-19 response. And here's how you can get involved. 

Georgia Responds is Georgia’s health and medical volunteer program which "matches the skills and credentials of medical and non-medical volunteers" to help stop the spread of COVID-19, they said.

In a press release, they outlined the following: "Medical volunteers may be used to answer medical questions coming into the COVID-19 hotline, or assist at test specimen collection sites. Non-medical volunteers may be used in administrative roles at either the call-center or test collection sites, or provide interpretation or other skills as needed."

To volunteer, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/georgia-responds and click on the “Register Now” box. Once your skills and credentials are reviewed, you will be notified by a DPH representative.

GEMA shares list of Georgia services that have suspended disconnections

The Georgia Public Service Commission has created a list of all Georgia services that have suspended disconnections amid COVID-19. If you do not see your service listed, contact your utility or service provider directly as some businesses are offering alternate payment arrangements for this situation.

The Georgia PSC does not regulate cable or Internet providers. Please contact your cable or Internet provider for assistance.

Cumming Publix employee tests positive

Publix officials have confirmed that an employee working at the Publix at 1735 Buford Highway in Cumming has tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to Publix's Director of Communications, Maria Brous, the employee has not been to the grocery store at Cruse Marketplace in over a week.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we conducted a deep clean of the store when the associate informed us they weren’t feeling well. We received confirmation from the Georgia Department of Public Health yesterday that they did test positive," said Brous.

RELATED: Cumming Publix employee tests positive for COVID-19

Cases in Georgia stand at 1,026 and 32 deaths, DPH says

The Georgia Department of Health announced new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesaday. As of Noon, there are 1,026 confirmed cases of the virus and 32 deaths reported. This is up from the 800 confirmed cases and 26 that they announced on Monday evening.

Of the 1,026 confirmed cases, 184 are in Fulton, 94 are in DeKalb, 90 are in Dougherty, 86 are in Cobb and 75 are in Bartow. In all, there are cases reported in 85 counties (81 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 56 percent are 18-59 years old, 36 percent are over 60 and 7 percent are unknown. 50 percent are female and 48 percent are male.

In total, 4,106 tests were conducted at commercial labs, reporting 837 positive cases. At the Department of Public Health Labratory, 1,378 tests were conducted with 189 positive results.

COUNTY - # CASES

Fulton - 184
Dekalb - 94
Dougherty - 90
Cobb - 86
Bartow - 75
Gwinnett - 45
Cherokee - 28
Carroll - 26
Clayton - 21
Lee - 20
Clarke - 16
Hall - 14
Henry - 13
Fayette - 12
Douglas - 11
Floyd - 11
Lowndes - 11
Richmond - 11
Coweta - 10
Forsyth - 8
Polk - 8
Chatham - 7
Gordon - 7
Rockdale - 7
Paulding - 6
Troup - 6
Glynn - 5
Laurens - 5
Newton - 5
Oconee - 5
Spalding - 5
Bibb - 4
Columbia - 4
Pickens - 4
Worth - 4
Houston - 3
Lamar - 3
Lumpkin - 3
Mitchell - 3
Monroe - 3
Muscogee - 3
Peach - 3
Terrell - 3
Baker - 2
Baldwin - 2
Bryan - 2
Butts - 2
Coffee - 2
Crisp - 2
Early - 2
Effingham - 2
Sumter - 2
Tift - 2
Whitfield - 2
Barrow - 1
Ben Hill - 1
Burke - 1
Camden - 1
Catoosa - 1
Charlton - 1
Chattooga - 1
Clinch - 1
Colquitt - 1
Dawson - 1
Greene - 1
Harris - 1
Heard - 1
Irwin - 1
Jasper - 1
Liberty - 1
Lincoln - 1
Macon - 1
Madison - 1
Meriwether - 1
Miller - 1
Morgan - 1
Pierce - 1
Pulaski - 1
Randolph - 1
Stephens - 1
Tattnall - 1
Turner - 1
Twiggs - 1
Walton - 1
Washington - 1
Unknown - 81

Parks in Alpharetta closed, Big Creek Greenway, trails remain open

The City of Alpharetta has enacted an emergency ordinance temporarily closing most city parks and park facilities, they said. This includes all city park facilities, buildings, offices, fields, courts, pavilions, playgrounds, the Town Green, and restrooms. They will remain closed for 30 days.

Trails, paths, and the Big Creek Greenway will remain open. They did stress, however, that you cannot gather in groups of ten or more and that everyone must practice social distancing -- staying at least six feet away from one another, unless you live in the same home.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park closed

You'll need to find a new area to get outside and get some fresh air. 

As of today, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is closing all parking lots, trails, facilities, and buildings.

"The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is our number one priority," they said in a news release. 


First death reported in Clarke County, Northeast Health District says

The Northeast Health District is confirming the first death from COVID-19 in Clarke County. The individual, a 67-year-old male, died in an Athens hospital and was a resident,  they said. In addition to testing positive for COVID-19, he had existing medical conditions.

Things to know Tuesday morning

  • Atlanta Public Schools anticipates remaining closed through April 13 
  • Kemp bans large gatherings | Orders shelter in place for people who are medically fragile and the most at risk 
  • Kemp also ordered all bars and nightclubs in the state to close -- unless you are able to maintain six feet between people at all times.
  • City of South Fulton officials asking residents to follow governor's order 
  • Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms declares a "stay-at-home" order for the City of Atlanta. The order does not include essential businesses, parks, the Atlanta BeltLine or restaurants serving takeout.
  • MARTA, nation's other leading transit agency heads ask Congress for $25 billion in support 
  • All Cobb County parks closed
  • Fulton County Jail inmate tests positive for COVID-19

MORE CORONAVIRUS HEADLINES: 

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

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issues 14-day stay-at-home order

Kemp outlines new actions state is taking to combat COVID-19

Coronavirus live updates: White House updates public lengthy Monday presser

These states have issued stay-at-home orders. What does that mean?

Trump says he intends to reopen country in weeks, not months

Grady Hospital 'at or near capacity' amid coronavirus pandemic as mayor says 'breaking point' is imminent

Malaria drugs' promise for coronavirus spurs hope, shortages