Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Saturday, June 20

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

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Atlanta coronavirus updates
Patrons at Historic Fourth Ward Park in early May.

Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In early June, we paused our daily coronavirus updates as breaking news about the virus began to slow. However, we will continue to provide updates periodically. Here’s what you need to know right now.

• As of publication time, a total of 62,809 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Georgia. 2,642 people have died. 826,711 tests (virus and antibody) have been conducted. A total of 8,937 of those tested were hospitalized at the time. [GA Dept. of Public Health]

• Cases appear to be back on the rise in Georgia. The state’s dashboard shows that in early June, the seven-day moving average was back at levels previously seen in mid-April, when cases were at their highest, with the highest amount of cases yet—1,001—reported on June 1. And as the AJC reports, “Georgia has reported week-over-week increases in four of the past five weeks after four weeks of gradually declining cases.” Cases in Gwinnett County have been steadily rising since mid-May and as of Wednesday, it had the highest amount of cases of any Georgia county according to WABE. The county attributes it to more testing and “densely populated areas.” Statewide, the rise is likely from a combination of increased testing and re-opening. One more notable statistic from the state dashboard: while the most deaths are reported in those 80 and older, the most cases have actually been reported in the 18-29 age group. [GA. Dept of Public Health/AJC/WABE]

• DeKalb County has opened a new testing site in Doraville, in the parking lot of the former K-Mart at 5597 Buford Highway NE. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and is free, but patients need to register in advance at dekalbhealth.net or by calling 404-294-3700. [AJC]

• Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped from 12.6 percent in April—the all-time high—to 9.7 percent in May. This is still very elevated from prepandemic numbers; Georgia’s unemployment rate in February was 3.1 percent. [GA DOL]

• The governor’s office is asking the federal government to for a waiver to allow the state to suspend standardized testing for the 2020-21 school year, due to increased challenges from COVID-19. The federal government granted such wavers in the spring when the pandemic shut down in-person learning at schools. [AJC]

• Georgia Tech announced its re-opening plan on Wednesday, which includes five different instruction models that include a mix of virtual and in-person learning. The school will strongly encourage but not require mask-wearing and will provide students with cloth masks. Classes are set to start on August 17 and end just before Thanksgiving. Triple and quad dorm rooms will not be used. The AJC has the full re-opening plan here. [AJC]

• Both Shaky Knees and Music Midtown have official canceled for 2020. [Shaky Knees/Music Midtown]

• Some say it’s always patio season in Atlanta—and, with COVID-19 concerns plaguing indoor dining rooms, they could be right. Read our latest on how patio dining could be the future for Atlanta’s restaurants.

• While Atlanta restaurant owners have faced challenges of closing and re-opening, Atlanta’s pop-up and cottage chefs and bakers have faced a completely different set of pivots due to COVID-19, including a change in the type of products customers want and ingredient shortages. But many we talked to actually described how the pandemic has been good for their businesses. Read what they had to say here.

• Have you heard of the South Bend Commons? The Lakewood Heights community organization has been collecting food and water donations for protestors, but has also been providing free food to nearby residents during the pandemic. Learn more about them here.

• Two Atlanta United first team players have tested positive for COVID-19 as the team prepares for a July tournament in Orlando. The team will resume training on Tuesday assuming no one else tests positive. [ATLUTD]

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