Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Saturday, May 2

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

Atlanta coronavirus updates
As a social distancing measure, plastic bags cover seats at a Waffle House in Brookhaven, limiting the amount of people who can sit at the counter. Waffle House said that since re-opening dining rooms on Monday, it’s only had a slight increase in sales.

Photograph by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

On Friday, the governor defended his decision to focus on the state economy and the flight path for the Blue Angels flight was released. Here’s your Saturday morning update:

• As of publication time, there have been 28,005 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia. 1,170 people have died. 168,367 tests have been conducted. 5,340 of those tested were hospitalized at the time. [GA Dept. of Public Health]

• The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds will fly over Atlanta today as a tribute to first responders. The flyover is expected to begin at 1:35 p.m. and last about 25 minutes. The flight path starts in Marietta, goes through Midtown and up into Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Roswell, and East Cobb, heading back downtown, through East Point and College Park, down through Peachtree City, and ending outside Newnan. See the map here. [WSB-TV]

• Governor Brian Kemp gave nearly a half-hour video interview to GPB News, standing by his decision to shift his focus to Georgia’s economy. He’s asking state agencies to brace for a “brutal budget environment,” with 14 percent budget cuts. He also discussed what Georgians should be doing with the shelter-in-place lifted (including wearing masks), the likelihood of teacher pay raises, his decision to re-open businesses, and testing. Watch the full interview here. [GPB]

• We’ve had about a week of businesses such as salons and bowling alleys being open, along with dine-in at restaurants. But many Atlantans aren’t necessarily in a hurry to rush back. Waffle House reported only a “slight uptick” in sales, and while a few shoppers went back to newly opened malls yesterday, most of the stores in those malls remain closed. [AJC 1/AJC 2]

• The AJC‘s editorial board is siding with many public health experts—it’s just too early to re-open the state. The op-ed points out that in Colorado, counties and cities have the ability to set their own restrictions if not yet ready to re-open, and also points to other states with fewer cases that are not yet lifting shelter-in-place restrictions. It also, as it has in previous editorials, discusses Ohio, a state which has a million more people than Georgia but thanks to enforcing its shelter-in-place policy faster (one that won’t expire until May 12), it has 7,400 fewer cases and 146 fewer deaths. “There will be time to focus on economic recovery. Now is not that time,” the board writes. [AJC]

• The Georgia Department of Public Health, along with the governor, are urging Georgians to wear masks when they go out in public. By the way, have you seen those viral graphics on Facebook that show if both a healthy person and COVID-19 carrier wear masks, their risk rate goes down to about 1.5 percent? 11 Alive checked with the CDC—there haven’t been many studies done on cloth masks, so the CDC couldn’t confirm them, and the numbers in the graphics are similar a study on N95 masks. So, those incredible statistics are inaccurate, but the messaging behind the graphic is correct—masks are meant to protect people, primarily to protect asymptomatic carriers from unknowingly transmitting the disease. The more people participate, the more likely we’ll be to prevent infection and protect ourselves. [WSB-TV/11 Alive]

• Duluth, Lawrenceville, and Swanee will not host any large-scale public events through July 10, which means a halt on any July 4 celebrations. [WSB-TV]

• Atlanta United players will soon be able to train by themselves at the team’s facilities on the outdoor fields. Group practice is still banned through mid-May. [AJC]