ATLANTA — Below is an archive
Visit the 11Alive coronavirus page 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.
We're breaking down the trends and relaying information from across the state of Georgia as it comes in, bringing perspective to the data and context to the trends.
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.
- As of 7 p.m. this evening, there have been 1,973 deaths in Georgia, with the state's earliest reported death on March 5. Over the last 14 days (5/15-5/28), the average daily increase in newly reported deaths was 27.50 deaths each day. Over the previous 14-day period (5/1-5/14), the average daily increase in newly reported deaths was 27.07.
- There have been 45,266 cases confirmed in Georgia, with the state's earliest reported case on Feb. 1. Over the last 14 days, the average daily increase in newly confirmed cases was 606.71 new cases a day. Over the previous 14-day period, the average daily increase in newly confirmed cases was 606.07.
- There have been 7,829 total patients hospitalized in Georgia during the pandemic, according to the Department of Public Health's cumulative total. Over the last 14 days, the average daily increase in new patients was 93.64 new patients a day. Over the previous 14-day period, the average daily increase in new patients was 76.36.
- The Georgia Emergency Management Agency began reporting current statewide hospitalizations on May 1. That day they reported 1,500 current hospitalizations. By the most recent report on May 27, there were 901 current hospitalizations.
- Gov. Brian Kemp's statewide shelter-in-place order expired at midnight on April 30. However, his order for the elderly and medically-fragile remains in effect until June 12.
- Public Health Emergency has been extended until July 12.
State releases 7 p.m. update
According to the latest data from the Georgia Department of Pubic Health, there are currently 45,266 cases of COVID-19 in the state. The state says that 1,973 people have died, with another 7,829 people hospitalized with the virus.
For a county-by-county breakdown of the cases, you can view our interactive map.
Thermal imaging cameras installed at Fulton County Jails
The Fulton County Jail unveiled its first thermal imaging cameras that will scan temperatures of everyone entering the jail facilities.
The devices, that resemble large mobile telephones, were installed Thursday and may be the first to be used at any jail in Georgia.
According to the sheriff's office, the thermal cameras are located at the front and back entrances of the main jail and the South Jail Annex in Union City. These new devices, the sheriff's office said, are phasing out the touchless thermometers that were previously used to read the temperatures of inmates, law enforcement officers delivering inmates, employees, and other visitors to jail facilities.
"Use of the thermal imaging cameras is a much safer method," the sheriff's office said, noting that the touchless thermometers required closer interaction.
The machines alert when someone has a fever, which is a known symptom of the COVID-19.
Sheriff Ted Jackson said new these tools are part of measures being taken to control the introduction and spread of the virus into the jails. More of the cameras will be installed in other high traffic areas in the facilities.
State to move to once-daily update on COVID-19
For many weeks, the Georgia Department of Health has been updating state data on COVID-19 multiple times a day. Gov. Kemp said the DPH will now be moving to a daily 3 p.m. update on the COVID-19 website.
"This change will give (DPH) more time to coordinate with healthcare facilities and providers to verify information and check its accuracy before publication," Kemp said.
Limits on public gatherings relaxed as more businesses allowed to resume operations
Gov. Brian Kemp is moving forward with reopening Georgia, as he announced new moves to allow more public activity to resume across the state.
Though the governor announced that he is extending the public health emergency through July 12, Kemp said that the state will allow an increase in the number of people at public gatherings, bars and restaurants to reopen, limited sporting operations, and some summer classes. Kemp said he made the decision based on what he called "favorable data."
Most of those moves come with strict guidelines, Kemp said. Here is a wrap up of the most important developments.
Amusement parks in Georgia may reopen starting June 12
Amusement parks and traveling carnivals may reopen in Georgia beginning roughly two weeks from now, on June 12.
Gov. Brian Kemp announced he was easing restrictions on those venues and several others on Thursday. Amusement parks were among the last set of businesses to remain strictly closed in Georgia on the governor's orders.
Those closures had been extended twice, first at the end of April when the governor lifted his original shelter-in-place and again in mid-May. Kemp also announced Thursday that bars and nightclubs would be allowed to reopen beginning next Monday, June 1.
The governor said there would be 33 mandatory requirements for amusement park operators to follow, following on detailed sets of operating guidelines for other high-traffic businesses.
Georgia bars and nightclubs can reopen next week
Georgia bars and nightclubs can officially reopen starting next week, on Monday June 1, if they comply with a range of restrictions, Gov. Brian Kemp announced on Thursday.
Closures of those specific businesses, along with performance venues - which will remain closed - were extended twice, once at the end of April when the governor lifted his original shelter-in-place and again in mid-May.
The governor said that bars and nightclubs "can reopen if they comply with strict sanitation and social distancing rules."
He said there would be 39 mandatory measures "to ensure patron well-being."
That list of 39 guidelines was not immediately available.
Limits on public gatherings relaxed
For several weeks, gatherings of more than 10 people in a single location had been banned in the state unless the six feet of social distancing was able to be observed. With new measures, Kemp said that limit would be bumped up to 25 on June 1, opening the door to small weddings, recreational sports and similar events to resume.
Gov. Kemp announces public health emergency is extended through July 12
Gov. Brian Kemp is extending the public health state of emergency until July 12.
It's the third time the governor has renewed the state's first-ever public health emergency.
"This declaration plays a critically important role in our battle against COVID-19. It allows for enhanced partnerships between the private and public sectors for our healthcare infrastructure, procurement of supplies, and coordination across all levels of government," Kemp said.
Watch him make the announcement in the news conference below.
More than 50,000 Georgia voters still waiting to receive their absentee ballots
With the June 9 primary 12 days away, the secretary of state’s office says there are still more than 50,000 voters around the state who have asked for, but haven’t yet received, absentee ballots. And the advice they’re getting is to just wait – and don’t vote in person. At least not yet.
Around the state, ballots have been sent to 96% of voters who have requested them. Almost 59,000 haven't made it to their mailboxes.
"I would just be patient. You’ll get your ballot here shortly," said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
VP Pence will be visiting Georgia again tomorrow
Vice President Mike Pence will be in Georgia again on Friday, exactly one week after he was in the state for a lunch and business roundtable.
According to the White House, Pence will arrive at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta shortly before 10 a.m., and then attend a memorial service for the Christian evangelist Ravi Zacharias, who died earlier this month.
Afterward, Pence will lead a conversation with small business owners on reopening the economy and leave Georgia sometime tomorrow evening.
At that roundtable, Pence hailed Kemp for "leading the way" and making Georgia an "example to the nation."
CVS adding testing sites
CVS says it is expanding its drive-thru testing locations to include 23 more sites around Georgia, bringing its total in the state to 46. Seven of those sites are in Atlanta.
For a full list of sites, you can visit the CVS website.
Things to know for Thursday, May 28
- Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the city was ready to move on to Phase 2 of her reopening plan, and told us about the data she feels show things are improving steadily.
- On the other side of the state, with restrictions easing Georgia beaches are seeing record numbers.
- A Chicago-based surgeon with ties to Atlanta donated a device to the Atlanta Community Food Bank to make sure they can take workers' temperatures.
- Another man, meanwhile, donated iPads to hospitals and nursing homes after his own father's death, as a way to keep families connected through difficult times.
- And there are new questions about the accuracy of COVID-19 tests.
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