Over the weekend, Mayor Bottoms went on CNN to discuss the virus and the governor’s office reminded folks that social distancing rules still apply at the lake. Here’s your Monday morning update:
• There are now 2,683 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia. 83 people have died. 678 have been hospitalized. 12,564 people have been tested. Dougherty County now has more deaths (17) than Fulton County (12). [GA Dept. of Public Health]
• The state is also now releasing more information about those who have died, including age, gender, county, and whether or not they had an underlying condition. Of the data released, the youngest person to die so far is a 29-year-old woman in Peach County, and it is unknown if she had an underlying condition. The oldest is a 95-year-old man in Baker County, also unknown if he had an underlying condition. The average age is currently 68. [GA Dept. of Public Health]
• Of course, due to testing shortages statewide, we know that many more Georgians have COVID-19 than what is being officially reported, as public health commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms have both acknowledged. This is why social distancing is critically important to slow the spread. Bottoms went on CNN Saturday to discuss Atlanta’s response and shared accounts of friends who were sick. As the AJC reports:
“This is not to alarm people,” Bottoms said, “but it is to stress to people that this is real. The thing we can do is stay at home. We are not asking people to pick up arms and go to war. People aren’t fleeing famine. We’re asking you to stay at home. … It’s a simple request so that people can have an opportunity to simply live.” [AJC]
• According to CBS 46, Fulton County has released its guidelines for who can get a COVID-19 test right now. Candidates must show symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath) and either be 60 or older or a caregiver to someone in that age group, a caregiver to someone immunocompromised, a healthcare worker, have a serious underlying condition including diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease, or work or live in a “congregate setting.” [CBS 46]
• The Governor’s office and the Department of Natural Resources are reminding residents that they must keep 6-feet apart from others even while enjoying state parks and lakes. This was a major issue during this past weekend, as Fox 5 reported crowded trails at Cloudland Canyon State Park and Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills confirmed large crowds at Lake Oconee. [Office of the Governor/Twitter]
• Future’s FreeWishes Foundation has partnered with Atlanta Sewing Style for the Mask On Campaign, which will donate cloth masks to healthcare workers in dire need of personal protective equipment. [FreeWishes]
• During the past two weeks, we made calls to several Georgians to find out how coronavirus was impacting their lives early on in the outbreak. We talked to Mayor Bottoms, APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen; two chefs (Hugh Achseon and Jarrett Stieber); several doctors; the COVID-19-positive Waffle House cook who spent time in isolation at Hard Labor State Park; a high school senior whose dreams of playing college baseball were halted; a travel agent who predicts her income will be 20 percent of what it was; a woman who was quickly able to turn her 200-guest wedding into a livestreamed event; and several others. This oral history will appear in our May issue, but you can read it online now, along with expanded interviews with each subject.
• Several of Atlanta’s newest restaurants are still offering takeout and delivery, including NFA Burger in Dunwoody, Little Bear in Summerhill, and Grana in Piedmont Heights, the latter of which decided to open its doors for the first time (for takeout, of course) just a week ago. Check out our list of 10 new restaurants here.
• Now that we’re all swapping our boring walls for zany Zoom backgrounds, Atlanta United has released a series of “video conference backgrounds” so that you can be rowdy and proud while you go over the latest company updates. [Atlanta United]
• Finally, downtown’s Marriott Marquis has been sending a message of love.
— Cheryl Preheim (@CherylPreheim) March 30, 2020