Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Saturday, May 23

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

Atlanta coronavirus updates
Park-goers at Centennial Olympic Park on May 2

Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On Friday, Vice President Pence visited Atlanta and Fulton County’s absentee ballot applications are backed up. Here’s your Saturday morning update:

• As of publication time, a total of 41,482 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Georgia. 1,808 people have died. 427,249 tests have been conducted. A total of 7,376 of those tested were hospitalized at the time. [GA Dept. of Public Health]

• If you haven’t gotten your absentee ballot yet in Fulton County yet, you’re likely not alone. The AJC reports the county has a 25,000 ballot application backlog that it is trying to get through by Memorial Day. Richard Barron, the director of registration and elections for Fulton County, told the AJC that ballots should arrive sometime during the week of June 1, but Election Day is the following Tuesday, June 9. To be counted, a ballot must arrive at the county election office (not just be postmarked) by 7 p.m. on June 9, so voters who get ballots late may want to consider dropping their ballots in one of the county’s drop boxes. (The county has a drop box location finder here.) [AJC]

• Vice President Mike Pence dined with Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp at Star Cafe, praising Georgia’s re-opening efforts and saying that “history will record that Georgia helped lead the way back to a prosperous American economy,” the AJC reports. Pence also participated in round-table discussion at the Waffle House headquarters and visited the late Ravi Zacharias’s ministry. And in a rare moment of complete normalcy, his motorcade also snarled traffic on I-75. [AJC]

• If you’ve been following the news, you’ve likely heard a lot about the Georgia Department of Health’s COVID-19 data dashboard and its various controversies. And if you’ve tried to just follow the data yourself, you may have found yourself confused or frustrated at just how difficult it can be to get a clear picture of what’s happening right now. We explored why coronavirus data is so difficult to communicate clearly (lag time and the virus’s lengthy incubation period have a lot to do with it) and how we can better understand and distribute it.

• Food insecurity is still a major issue of the pandemic, as long lines of cars proved in DeKalb County yesterday during a drive-thru food giveaway. At one giveaway in Clarkston, DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond told the AJC that 500 cars had lined up 90 minutes before the event was scheduled to begin. The Atlanta Community Food Bank also told the paper it has seen a 30-40 percent increase in the amount of people getting food from banks and drives. DeKalb spent $40,000 on the food, which was purchased from South Georgia farmers. [AJC]

• How do you host an album release party in the middle of a pandemic? For rapper Skooly, it included a documentary screening and album streaming at Starlight Drive-In. Freelance writer Christina Lee went to the party and found that while there weren’t a ton of masks or social distancing, there was an outpouring of love for Skooly and a desire for a sense of normalcy. Read her full story for us here.

• Sports and Social and the Tavern, both part of Live! At the Battery Atlanta, will re-open on May 28 and plan to bring back outdoor live entertainment on the weekends. [WSB]

• Hamilton fans have to wait for it even longer—Broadway Across Atlanta announced the Fox Theatre’s run of the show, which was moved from spring to this August, has now been pushed a year to August 24 through September 26, 2021. [AJC]

• Please remember to be safe while enjoying this Memorial Day—both the mayor’s office and CDC advise that people continue social distancing and wearing face masks in public. The AJC has a list of safety tips and information on popular attractions in including Piedmont Park, Stone Mountain Park, coastal destinations, and lakes. [AJC]