Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Saturday, June 27

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

Atlanta coronavirus COVID-19 updates
Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar in Decatur on April 27

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 weekly. Here’s what you need to know right now.

• As of publication time, a total of 74,985 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Georgia. 2,776 people have died. 789,813 viral tests have been conducted, and 8.7 percent of those have been positive. A total of 10,689 of those tested were hospitalized at the time. [GA Dept. of Public Health]

• COVID-19 cases are still on the rise across the state, with the case rate in June climbing higher than it was at its previous peak in April. (On the state’s dashboard, the seven-day moving day average for cases was 761.3 on April 22. It was 897 on June 12.) Gwinnett continues to have the most cases but most metro counties are seeing upticks. Current hospitalizations are also continuing to rise. On June 26, 1,900 new cases were reported, a new daily record. And according to the AJC, experts say increased testing only contributes to part of the rise; community spread is still happening. Governor Brian Kemp did note, during remarks to press on Friday, that the state has not seen a spike connected to recent protests and expressed gratitude toward protestors who wore masks. [GA Dept. of Public Health/AJC 1/AJC 2/Twitter]

• Despite the increases locally and nationally, Governor Kemp on Friday said he has no plans to implement any shutdown measures, unlike neighbor Florida, which on Friday decided to shut down alcohol sales at bars due to increased cases. He also said that mandates that require citizens to wear face masks when out in public are a “bridge too far for me right now.” 19 states, along with Washington D.C., currently have statewide mask mandates, with the closest being North Carolina. Kemp urged Georgians to continue social distancing and wearing masks, saying, “We’ve got to continue to fight the fight hard every day.” On Friday, he tweeted a photo of himself wearing a mask at Marietta Pizza Co., with the text, “Wear a mask, Georgia!” [AJC/Florida Sun-Sentinel/Newsweek/Twitter]

• CDC Director Robert Redfield said on Thursday that nationwide cumulative case totals are likely 10 times higher than what the numbers show, meaning that for every American who tested positive for COVID-19 this past spring, there were another 10 people who went undiagnosed. Redfield said that between 5 and 8 percent of the U.S. population has tested positive for COVID-19, meaning the other 92 to 95 percent is still vulnerable to the disease. He also reiterated that the current surge in cases is not the much-predicted “second wave,” but is still part of the virus’s first wave. Cases are still expected to increase in the fall and winter. The CDC also said pregnant women are at a greater risk of hospitalization from the disease, but not a greater risk of death. [AJC]

• The metro area added 35,200 jobs in May, an improvement from April, but the AJC noted that at the current pace, it will take nine months before we can reach our most recent peak of employment, which was in November 2019. [AJC]

• Morehouse School of Medicine will receive a $40 million federal grant and will work with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health on a three-year project to “deliver education and information on resources to help fight the pandemic, such as testing and vaccinations once one is developed and federally-approved,” according to the AJC. [AJC]

• Atlanta Public Schools announced graduation ceremony dates for 14 high schools, which will be held outdoors at Lakewood Stadium from July 20-23. [APS]

• Morehouse College has canceled its football and cross country seasons for next year due to the pandemic. [The Undefeated]

• Major League Baseball announced it will play a proposed 60-game season beginning either July 23 or 24, with training beginning July 1. Players, coaches, and staff will be tested for COVID-19 every other day. [MLB]

• Major League Soccer announced the dates for its “MLS is Back” tournament, with Atlanta United set to play against the New York Red Bulls on July 11, against Cincinnati on July 16, and against Columbus on July 21. [MLS]

• The Fourth of July will look a lot different this year in Atlanta. Centennial Olympic Park and Stone Mountain have both announced they will not hold their annual fireworks shows. Some cities, including East Point, will instead host drive-by parades and virtual fireworks. [AJC]

• CVS added 11 more testing sites statewide, all in the drive-thrus of existing pharmacies. New Atlanta locations include 2555 Bolton Road, 3815 Clairmont Road, 680 Ponce de Leon Avenue Northeast, 2429 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and 2907 Main Street in East Point. You can find the full list of locations here. [CVS press release]

• Eater Atlanta is now tracking the restaurants that have temporarily closed due to employees testing positive for COVID-19. Among the most recent: Spiller Park Coffee at Ponce City Market, which closed today due to a positive employee case; New Realm Brewery on Friday; and the Brasserie and Estrella at Bazati on Friday, which is located next door to New Realm. [Eater Atlanta]

• Noble Fin, Mother, the downtown Dantanna’s, and Amelie’s French Bakery and Cafe are among the most recent restaurants to close permanently due to the pandemic. [Eater Atlanta]