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Below is an archive from March 26
The Georgia Department of Health announced new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. As of 7 p.m., there are 1,643 confirmed cases of the virus and 56 deaths reported. More than 500 people are hospitalized. Scroll to read more.
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.
Thursday, March 26
Delta employees volunteer to take paid leave
According to the airline, more than 21,000 employees have volunteered to take unpaid leave amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Atlanta-based company has been hard hit by the pandemic, along with other airlines, who have seen domestic and international travel virtually stop as the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads.
Atlanta Dogwood Festival announces new dates
After having to postpone this spring’s Atlanta Dogwood Festival due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, festival organizers have announced the annual event will move forward this year, just a few months later than usual.
The 84th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival is now scheduled to take place in Piedmont Park from Friday, Aug. 7 through Sunday, Aug. 9.
Gov. Brian Kemp holds statewide virtual townhall on coronavirus
Governor Kemp addressed the state about the coronavirus outbreak in a televised and streamed town hall Thursday night.
In it, Kemp addressed the statewide response to the current coronavirus outbreak and was joined by top state government officials including Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
You can watch the virtual townhall here.
Number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passes 1,600
In the latest update from the Georgia Department of Public Health, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has jumped to 1,643. Another eight people were reported to have died from the virus since the last update, bringing the total number of lives claimed by the virus to 56.
The figures show that the number of people hospitalized by the virus is 509.
Fulton County is reporting the most cases, with 231 positive diagnoses of COVID-19. Dougherty is reporting the second-most number of cases with 164. DeKalb, Cobb and Bartow counties all followed.
Overall, there are cases of the virus being reported in 102 of Georgia's 159 counties.
Here is the county-by-county breakdown:
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Georgia Speaker of the House asks for primaries to be moved to June
Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston is asking the Secretary of State to postpone Georgia's primary dates until well into the summer, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt almost every aspect of everyday life.
In a letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Ralston expressed that he had concerns with holding the Georgia General Primary on May 19. Georgia's presidential primary - which was originally supposed to be held March 24 - was also moved to that date.
Now, Ralston is asking for the primaries to be rescheduled to no earlier than Tuesday, June 23, amid recommendations from medical experts to implement social distancing to flatten the curve, or suppress the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Four more Fulton County Jail inmates test positive
Four more Fulton County Jail inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, the sheriff's office said on Thursday.
They all serve as inmate workers who perform various duties within the Rice Street facility, including sanitation. The sheriff's office says the men are being treating in the jail and are in quarantine together as they recover. The patients range in age from 33 to 65.
A fifth inmate was tested for COVID-19. Doctors are waiting to receive her test results. The woman, 50, was booked yesterday and indicated that she had been advised to self-quarantine.
Four other male inmates were tested and the results were negative.
This is the fifth confirmed case at the jail. On Monday, the sheriff's office said a man in his 30s is currently hospitalized with the virus. They said he has been undergoing treatment for a chronic illness that may have rendered him more susceptible to the virus.
The jail received its first non contact infrared thermometer to scan individuals attempting to enter the facility, they said. Those with temperatures higher than 100.4 are denied entry.
Cruise passengers housed at Dobbins Air Reserve Base released
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that all Grand Princess passengers have departed Dobbins Air Reserve Base and Clay National Guard Center.
"We once again thank Colonel McPike and Major General Carden for their hospitality and cooperation," the department said.
More than 250 passengers who were on the Grand Princess cruise ship off of California arrived at Dobbins earlier this month.
The base is located about 15 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.
Douglas County orders residents to shelter in place
The Douglas County Board of Health issued an Executive Order regarding sheltering in place due to COVID-19.
They voted unanimously on Thursday to issue an Executive Order requiring that all businesses enforce social distancing practices, limit non-essential services and that residents shelter in place (except for essential activities) until April 10.
For a complete list of essential services, see the full executive order on the county website.
Employee at Columbia High in DeKalb County tests positive
The DeKalb County School District said they received confirmation from the DeKalb Board of Health of a positive COVID-19 case for an employee at Columbia High School.
The district said they have notified all school faculty, staff and parents of the confirmed case and included the guidance from the DeKalb County Board of Health.
In a statement, the district said the following:
"The DeKalb Board of Health reiterated that the biggest intervention that the district could have done has already taken place—all schools are closed. Since the district closed all schools on March 16, 2020, teams have been cleaning and sanitizing each of our schools and centers. Health officials continue to remind us that persons who are a-symptomatic should self-quarantine for 14 days. Those who are showing symptoms should contact their primary care physician for guidance immediately."
Schools to remain closed through April 24, governor says
Georgia's schools will stay closed through April 24 according to an order from Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday.
The governor had originally ordered all schools closed on March 16 through the end of the month.
"I am deeply grateful to State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the Georgia Department of Education, superintendents, and parents for keeping us informed and helping us make the right decision for our students," Kemp said in a release. "Throughout this process, we will continue to seek the advice of public health officials, school leaders, and families to ensure the health and safety of the educational community. As we approach April 24, 2020, we ask for continued patience and flexibility since circumstances may change, but we encourage families to stay strong and follow the guidance of federal, state, and local leaders in the weeks ahead."
The extension of school closures comes as Georgia's case count surpassed 1,500 on Thursday, with nearly 50 deaths. Kemp has called closing schools "critical" in reducing the transmission of the coronavirus.
Confirmed cases in Georgia jump to 1,525 with 48 deaths
The Georgia Department of Health announced new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. As of Noon, there are 1,525 confirmed cases of the virus and 48 deaths reported. This is up from the 1,387 confirmed cases and 47 deaths that they announced on Wednesday evening.
Of the 1,525 confirmed cases, 211 are in Fulton, 156 are in Dougherty, 129 are in DeKalb, 115 are in Cobb and 86 are in Bartow. In all, there are cases reported in 97 counties (166 cases are listed as unknown counties). For a breakdown by county, view the 11Alive interactive map.
They said 473 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19.
Of the confirmed cases, 1 percent are between the ages of 0-17, while 59 percent are 18-59 years old, 35 percent are over 60 and 5 percent are unknown. 50 percent are female and 46 percent are male.
In total, 7,280 tests were conducted at commercial labs, reporting 1,247 positive cases. At the Department of Public Health Labratory, 1,646 tests were conducted with 251 positive results.
COUNTY - # CASES
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GDOT data shows significant decline in traffic along metro roadways
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says Georgians are doing their part to flatten the curve based on data he received from the Department of Transportation.
On Wednesday, data shows statewide interstate traffic was down 22 percent, while freight traffic was up 5 percent.
They said nine "main roads" in metro Atlanta were down 47 percent and that metro interstate morning rush hour traffic was down 32 percent.
New website launched for Atlanta residents, providing COVID-19 resources
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the launch of #ATLSTRONG —a new website that will serve as a COVID-19 resource hub for Atlanta residents.
On the website, you can sign up for coronavirus text alerts, request information on emergency fund assistance relief and more.
“Atlanta will rise above the challenges we face with the COVID-19 health threat, and we will do so together,” said Mayor Bottoms. “By staying connected, residents and businesses alike can do their part to ensure we stop the spread of this virus and start the recovery process.”
Visitors can also find information on meal assistance, CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, find information on Mayor Bottoms’ Executive and Administrative Orders and tax relief information for businesses.
City of Forest Park implements curfew
The City of Forest Park has enacted a citywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on April 10, 2020. The police department posted the information on Facebook Thursday morning. Residents are being told to remain in their homes or on their property during the curfew period, unless they are "exempt."
TSA confirms 3rd agent at Hartsfield-Jackson tests positive
The Transportation Security Administration has confirmed a third agent at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport tested positive for COVID-19.
The agent's last day was March 9. They worked the main checkpoint from 12:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. that night, the TSA says.
Fulton County Board of Health launches coronavirus hotline
The Fulton County Board of Health has launched a coronavirus hotline to help residents get answers about the virus. According to the Fulton County Board of Health press release, residents can get their test results, speak to a nurse if they believe they are sick or have been exposed, get general questions answered and speak with a representative about getting screened at the county's testing site.
Officials say coronavirus testing is available for residents who meet these criteria:
- Adults age 60 or older
- Caregivers of those 60 and over
- Caregivers of those who are immune-compromised
- Healthcare workers
- Patients with serious chronic or medical conditions (e.g. heart disease; diabetes; or lung disease)
- Those who work and live in a congregate setting
The COVID-19 Hotline is 404-613-8150. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Things to know Thursday morning
- 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.
- The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced it will cancel all orchestra performances through May 11, 2020.
- MARTA is reducing operations
- New numbers show drastic decline in business at world's busiest airport, changes to operations being made
- Waffle House closes more than 415 restaurants
- City of Conyers issues stay at home order
- 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.
- Several mayors of cities in South Fulton County are recommending all residents immediately begin to shelter in place.
- The number of hospitalized patients is 438, according to the DPH.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
MORE CORONAVIRUS HEADLINES: