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Coronavirus in Georgia on March 25

The death toll now stands at 47.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — For the latest updates on coronavirus in Georgia, visit the link for March 26.

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

Wednesday, March 25

Norcross emergency ordinance temporarily closes some businesses 

A new emergency ordinance was passed in Norcross on Monday, March 23, which states that bars, growler shops, gyms and a list of other businesses are ordered to close for the duration of the state of local emergency. 

Establishments in the business of selling food can continue, but through delivery, drive-thru and takeout services. All city facilities have been closed to the general public until further notice. 

The measures are similar to those in place in Gwinnett County. 

“We are thankful to the leadership and efforts of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Chairman Charlotte Nash and our peer cities,” stated Mayor Craig Newton. “Measures are significantly more impactful when conducted in tandem. Together, we will see our community through this pandemic.”  

For the list of businesses ordered to close and additional details, visit city's website.

Staff member at Metro Regional Youth Detention Center tests positive for COVID-19

Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice officials said they were notified that a staff member at the Metro Regional Youth Detention Center in DeKalb County has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The employee, who was last at to work on March 16, had a non-contact role with the youth population, DJJ officials said. The areas where the employee worked have been cleaned and disinfected. 

“This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 within a DJJ facility, and at this time, no other youth or member of the workforce population has shown symptoms of the virus,” said DJJ Commissioner Tyrone Oliver. “We will continue to follow all CDC and Georgia DPH guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure the health of our population.” 

Three other employees who worked closely with the staffers were notified and have self-quarantined, according to DJJ. They are not exhibiting symptoms of the virus at this time.

Doraville mayor calling on residents to shelter in place

Doraville Mayor Joseph Geierman said the city is preparing to take additional steps in an effort to slow down COVID-19 from spreading.

"Given the circumstances, I am calling on all Doraville residents to shelter in place immediately," the mayor said in a news release. "The Doraville City Council will be voting to amend our emergency ordinance and codify this order on March 26th."

He said the less physical contact residents have with one another, the better.

"The most effective approach to dealing with this virus would be led by the state or federal government and would involve both strict regulations about sheltering in place as well as widespread testing," Geierman said. "In the absence of that leadership, however, it is up to individual municipalities to pick up the slack and try to mitigate the spread of the virus as much as possible."

More than 100 new cases, 7 additional deaths since noon

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Georgia has spiked again to 1,387 cases being reported across 96 counties. The death toll now stands at 47, according to the latest numbers from the Department of Public Health.

The number of hospitalized patients is 438, according to the DPH.

The number of cases in Fulton County has now surpassed 200, with DeKalb, Dougherty and Cobb counties each reporting more than 100 cases. 

Here's a breakdown of the counties:

Fulton    204
Dekalb    125
Dougherty    123
Cobb    109
Bartow    82
Gwinnett    69
Carroll    50
Cherokee    36
Clayton    29
Lee    25
Clarke    21
Henry    20
Hall    19
Douglas    18
Floyd    14
Fayette    12
Lowndes    12
Columbia    10
Coweta    10
Forsyth    10
Richmond    10
Rockdale    10
Spalding    10
Gordon    9
Polk    9
Newton    8
Chatham    7
Laurens    7
Troup    7
Bibb    6
Early    6
Houston    6
Oconee    6
Paulding    6
Glynn    5
Peach    5
Sumter    5
Tift    5
Mitchell    4
Muscogee    4
Pickens    4
Terrell    4
Whitfield    4
Baker    3
Bryan    3
Butts    3
Crisp    3
Effingham    3
Lamar    3
Lumpkin    3
Monroe    3
Worth    3
Baldwin    2
Barrow    2
Coffee    2
Colquitt    2
Irwin    2
Jasper    2
Madison    2
Miller    2
Seminole    2
Twiggs    2
Washington    2
Ben Hill    1
Burke    1
Camden    1
Catoosa    1
Charlton    1
Chattooga    1
Clinch    1
Dawson    1
Decatur    1
Dodge    1
Fannin    1
Greene    1
Harris    1
Heard    1
Jackson    1
Jones    1
Liberty    1
Lincoln    1
Long    1
Macon    1
Meriwether    1
Morgan    1
Pierce    1
Pulaski    1
Randolph    1
Stephens    1
Tattnall    1
Taylor    1
Thomas    1
Turner    1
Ware    1
White    1
Wilkes    1
Unknown    160 

Lockheed Martin confirms 2 employees tested positive for COVID-19

A spokesperson for the aerospace, defense and security company confirmed to 11Alive that two of its employees have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

The company said extensive cleaning at the employees’ work areas and building was conducted following the discovery. 

"National security never stops and Lockheed Martin plays an essential role in the national security industrial base, supporting the critical missions of our customers in the United States and abroad," the company said in a statement posted online. "We are working directly with and monitoring in real time the steps taken by federal, state and local officials to minimize the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We continue to use best practices to mitigate risks and protect the health and well-being of our employees and partners, while ensuring we meet our commitments to national security."

Gov. Kemp: Ccoronavirus has likely been in Georgia since last year

In a one-on-one interview with 11Alive's Cheryl Preheim, Gov. Brian Kemp said that he believes the virus may have been in Georgia well before the first cases were confirmed - possibly stretching all the way back to December 2019 or early January. 

Since then, the increased capacity for testing has revealed an exponential increase in the amount of cases. That's why Kemp called Monday's decision to order a shelter-in-place for the "medically fragile" in Georgia a move in the right direction, and added that he's in favor of helping Georgia's counties while respecting their decisions as they work through virus concerns.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra cancels performances

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced it will cancel all orchestra performances through May 11, 2020.

The Woodruff Arts Center is closed through April 7, 2020 and Atlanta Symphony Hall LIVE events beyond that date are being evaluated and rescheduled on a case-by-case basis.

The ASO said it will announce the programming for its 2020/21 season and begin subscription renewals on March 31, and will make an announcement about the balance of the current season no later than May 1.

While the concert hall is closed, the ASO said the music will go on. The orchestra is introducing the ASO Virtual Stage, as a way to connect people through the "transformative power of music." Virtual Stage, including a Facebook Watch Party of our Opening Weekend concerts featuring Joshua Bell, will take place on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 11:40 a.m.

Mayors of cities in south Fulton County recommend all residents immediately shelter in place

Several mayors of cities in South Fulton County are recommending all residents immediately begin to shelter in place. 

"It is important for individuals to remain home as much as possible," the mayors wrote. "We recommend that individuals avoid all gatherings except to seek medical attention, get food, get to work in jobs which are essential for the care, health, and safety of our communities, or to care for a friend or relative."

Mayors from the cities of Chattahoochee Hills, College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Palmetto, South Fulton and Union City all signed the letter of recommendation to residents. 

Second Atlanta Police Officer test positive for COVID-19

The Atlanta Police Department has confirmed that a second field officer has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, bringing the department's total to two.

According to the department, both officers who have tested positive are at home, recovering in isolation from their colleagues. The department reports there are also "a small number" of officers who are home, either sick and awaiting tests or diagnoses, or quarantined for a variety of reasons – including living with a family member who has tested positive or is showing symptoms. 

"These officers continue to represent a small minority of the department, and will return to work as soon as they are cleared," a spokesman for the department said. 

APD said it is continuing to take steps to reduce the spread of the virus within the department, including distributing masks to officers, and mandating that all arrestees will be required to wear a mask when being transported to jail. 

The department has also said officers are being encouraged to write a copy of charges, rather than make a physical arrest, for non-violent crimes where there is no danger to the public. The department added it has experienced a lower call volume than usual in the past week, but reiterated there is "no degradation to our ability to respond" to calls.

Emergency order allows Sterigenics to resume operations 

After its operations were deemed "crucial" in the fight against COVID-19, embattled Cobb County medical sterilization plant Sterigenics has been allowed to resume operations. 

According to the county, Chairman Mike Boyce signed the emergency order on Wednesday to allow the facility - which had come under fire for releasing significant amounts of a cancer-causing toxin into the air - to operate on a "limited contingency basis."

Under the order, the amount of ethylene oxide permitted on the site will be restricted and the company must immediately report any incident at the facility. The emergency order expires at the end of the county's emergency declarations.

The move comes at the urging of the US Food and Drug Administration, according to the county. In a letter, the FDA cited the critical lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) as one reason for the action. 

The county added that Steigenics completed a negative pressure test on Monday, and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division told the county that the test results showed the system "appeared to be working as designed." EPD officials are awaiting a final test report before the facility can fully be cleared to resume operations.

City of Conyers issues stay at home order

The City of Conyers passed an ordinance ordering all residents to shelter in place and have also ordered all non-essential businesses to close. They have also prohibited public gatherings in the city limits.

In addition, the police department shared that they were scanning officers' temperatures before each shift.

City of Kennesaw offering limited services

The City of Kennesaw said it will temporarily transition to limited services and staffing as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Essential operations, they said, include: Kennesaw Police Department and Kennesaw/Acworth 911 Emergency Communication Center, Public Works, Building Inspections and other staff deemed essential by the Office of the City Manager.

Sanitation will continue normal operations.

Gwinnett County modifies solid waste pickup procedures

Gwinnett County officials said Wednesday that they are allowing residential solid waste haulers to "temporarily modify their operations."

"Gwinnett County Government is committed to ensuring that essential solid waste services are provided safely and reliably to residents during the COVID-19 pandemic," they said in a news release.

The following changes will be made to solid waste service in unincorporated Gwinnett County:

  • Only bagged trash placed inside trash carts and recycling materials placed inside recycling carts or bins will be picked up; in other words, excess household trash or recycling materials placed outside the containers will not be picked up.
  • Bulky waste, white goods, and yard waste collections will be suspended temporarily.

The order also strongly encourages residents to place all trash and recycling inside bags and to tie those bags before placing them in carts to eliminate loose debris in the containers or on the ground. 

MARTA reduces operations

Just hours after announcing it would be suspending bus fares, MARTA says it is making substantial changes to its operations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In an announcement, the transit authority said it will reduce bus service by 30 percent, change rail service to operate on a weekend schedule and bus fares will be suspended. The adjustments come as MARTA tries to "protect the health and wellness of their employees" as they continue to provide transit service.

Confirmed cases in Georgia climb to 1,247 with 40 deaths

The Georgia Department of Health announced new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. As of Noon, there are 1,247 confirmed cases of the virus and 40 deaths reported. This is up from the 1,097 confirmed cases and 38 deaths that they announced on Tuesday evening.

Of the 1,247 confirmed cases, 198 are in Fulton, 116 are in DeKalb, 109 are in Dougherty, 101 are in Cobb and 78 are in Bartow. In all, there are cases reported in 96 counties (153 cases are listed as unknown counties). For a breakdown by county, view the 11Alive interactive map.

They said just under 400 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19. 

Of the confirmed cases, 1 percent are between the ages of 0-17, while 60 percent are 18-59 years old, 35 percent are over 60 and 4 percent are unknown. 51 percent are female and 48 percent are male.

In total, 4,697 tests were conducted at commercial labs, reporting 1,041 positive cases. At the Department of Public Health Labratory, 1,482 tests were conducted with 206 positive results.

COUNTY - # CASES

Fulton 198
Dekalb 116
Dougherty 109
Cobb 101
Bartow 78
Gwinnett 48
Cherokee 31
Carroll 27
Lee 25
Clayton 22
Clarke 19
Hall 19
Douglas 17
Floyd 14
Fayette 12
Henry 12
Lowndes 11
Coweta 10
Richmond 10
Forsyth 9
Rockdale 9
Gordon 8
Polk 8
Chatham 7
Newton 7
Bibb 6
Columbia 6
Laurens 6
Paulding 6
Spalding 6
Troup 6
Early 5
Glynn 5
Houston 5
Oconee 5
Sumter 5
Tift 5
Mitchell 4
Peach 4
Pickens 4
Whitfield 4
Baker 3
Crisp 3
Effingham 3
Lamar 3
Lumpkin 3
Monroe 3
Muscogee 3
Terrell 3
Worth 3
Baldwin 2
Barrow 2
Bryan 2
Butts 2
Coffee 2
Greene 2
Irwin 2
Jasper 2
Miller 2
Seminole 2
Twiggs 2
Washington 2
Appling 1
Ben Hill 1
Burke 1
Camden 1
Catoosa 1
Charlton 1
Chattooga 1
Clinch 1
Colquitt 1
Dawson 1
Decatur 1
Dodge 1
Fannin 1
Harris 1
Heard 1
Jackson 1
Jones 1
Liberty 1
Lincoln 1
Macon 1
Madison 1
Meriwether 1
Morgan 1
Pierce 1
Pulaski 1
Randolph 1
Stephens 1
Tattnall 1
Taylor 1
Thomas 1
Turner 1
Walton 1
White 1
Wilkes 1

New numbers show drastic decline in business at world's busiest airport, changes to operations being made

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport general manager John Selden shared new numbers with the city council, according to council member Jennifer Ide. The airport also announced they are making some changes.

Selden told the council that passenger volume at the world's busiest airport is down 85 percent and flights are down 65 percent this week from "pre-COVID-19." He did tell them, however, that cargo business is up. It is not known what date exactly "pre-COVID-19" is that Ide referenced in a Tweet

The airport also said on social media that they are making some changes to their operations. 

"As we are slowing down, you may see some changes in our operations. Some moving sidewalks and escalators are shut down." 

If you are traveling and need special assistance, they said to contact your airline directly.

Waffle House closes more than 415 restaurants

You know it's bad when Waffle House is closed. 

Waffle House has been a part of life in the South since its founding in suburban Atlanta in early September 1955 with nearly 2,000 locations.

They started using the Waffle House Index during natural disasters, particularly for hurricanes, in 2004. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) even began using it to determine how bad things were in particular areas. 

Just this week, amid the coronavirus outbreak across the country, Waffle House brought out their maps again and listed 418 restaurants as closed and 1,574 showing green, or open.

The chain hasn't directly stated the reason for the closings. Some have closed in individual instances because an employee at the location tested positive for coronavirus, while others could possibly be affected by various shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders.

FULL STORY: Waffle House closes more than 415 restaurants amid coronavirus concerns

'Hamilton' at the Fox Theatre postponed, 'Miss Saigon' canceled

The Fox Theatre in Atlanta announced that the production of "Hamilton," originally scheduled for March 31 to May 3 is postponed. Ticket holders will be updated on Friday.

"Miss Saigon," which was previously postponed from its March 17-22 dates, is now canceled, they said.

For more information, visit the Fox Theatre website

MARTA suspending bus fares

MARTA officials confirmed with 11Alive this morning that the public transit authority will be suspending bus fares beginning tomorrow.

A spokesperson said further details would be released later today.

Decatur stay-at-home order

Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett issued the order that went into effect just after midnight. According to a post on the city's Facebook page, it will remain in effect until just before midnight on April 7.

"Since March 16 the number of cases of COVID-19 officially reported in DeKalb County has increased exponentially and is expected to continue to do so if significant measures are not taken immediately," the post said.

According to the most recent figures from the Georgia Department of Public Health, DeKalb County has the second-most coronavirus cases in the state, with 107. The county has a state of emergency in place banning public gatherings of 10 or more people.

The order allows for people to leave their homes "only for essential activities, essential governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses."

Shelter in place in Hart County

Hart County, in northeast Georgia, issued a shelter in place emergency order.

The county does not at this time have any confirmed coronavirus cases, according to state DPH figures.

Things to know Wednesday morning

  • East Point officials establish a citywide curfew
  • City of Griffin declares public health state of emergency 
  • The City of Brookhaven has decided to extend and clarify its emergency declaration. They are also telling residents to shelter-in-place.
  • 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.
  • Cobb County has become the latest major metro Atlanta county to declare a state of emergency.
  • 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.
  • Gov. Brian Kemp is calling on all businesses who are able, to help the state battle the spread of the the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Hall County forces restaurants to close all dining rooms 
  • 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.
  • DeKalb County Jail inmate and employee tests positive 
  • 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.

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Alpha Kappa Alpha sorors delivers heartfelt tribute to sister recovering at home

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Kemp strikes a delicate balance for his COVID-19 restrictions

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LIST | Essential businesses and services under Atlanta stay-at-home order