Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Monday, April 13

A quick roundup of what's happening in metro Atlanta and what you may have missed

Atlanta latest coronavirus updates
The empty street in front of State Farm Arena

Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Over the weekend, it was announced the Georgia World Congress Center would become a coronavirus hospital site. Here’s your Monday morning update:

• There are now 12,550 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia. 442 people have died. 2,518 have been hospitalized. 54,513 tests have been conducted. [GA Dept. of Public Health]

• A portion of the Georgia World Congress Center is set to become a 200-bed hospital for coronavirus patients. GWCC will serve patients with mild to moderate cases, freeing up space in hospitals for more severe cases. The preparations are being made before the state is expected to hit its peak on resources—on April 26—and fatalities—on April 27. (Those dates, from the widely cited IHME model, have been pushed back last week’s predicted dates of April 20 and 21.) [AJC]

• Georgians just aren’t getting enough information about how coronavirus is impacting the state, the AJC argues, citing the lack of daily briefings from Governor Brian Kemp, low testing rates, and the fact that many healthcare systems won’t release the numbers of those treated for COVID-19, nor the numbers of how many staffers have been sickened. [Georgia’s daily numbers instead come from the state Department of Public Health and only show the counties where cases have been diagnosed, as opposed to city or zip code.] Numbers about outbreaks in nursing homes were also unavailable until last week. The AJC reports that “all of the massive hospital systems in Atlanta—Wellstar, Emory, Piedmont, and Northside—have remained secretive about their coronavirus caseloads, deaths, and employees.” The consequences of a lack of information: a rampant rumor mill and a stronger chance the public will ignore directives from public officials. Read the full AJC report on the issue here. [AJC]

• If you think that doctors are the one group immune to the current economic crisis, think again; primary care physicians in particular are hurting as patients avoid nonessential visits. The lack of revenue threatens to put solo and small practices out of businesses. [Georgia Health News]

• Dougherty County coroner Michael Fowler was featured on the cover of Time magazine as part of a feature story about coronavirus heroes. Read his story here. [Time]

• Lazy Betty will reopen for takeout and delivery on Tuesday, offering six different types of family meals that each come with an entree and two to three sides. [Eater Atlanta]