Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Sunday, August 30

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

Atlanta coronavirus COVID-19 updates news
A sign is seen at a free COVID-19 walk-up testing site on July 11.

Photograph by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

In early June, we paused our daily coronavirus updates. However, we will continue to provide updates weekly. Here’s what you need to know right now.

• As of publication time, a total of 267,758 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Georgia. 5,576 people have died. 2.3 million viral tests have been conducted, and 10.6 percent of those have been positive. 2,081 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. [GA Dept. of Public Health/GEMA]

• Georgia has plenty of COVID-19 tests, but according to the office of Governor Brian Kemp, Georgians aren’t going to get tested. While cases have been on a downward trend statewide for the past few weeks (although Georgia still has some of the highest case numbers in the country), the AJC cites public health experts who say that mixed messaging around who is supposed to be tested—Only symptomatic patients? Everyone? Only the vulnerable?—could be contributing to the low amount of Georgians seeking tests. And according to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, there is still not enough testing being conducted in order to contain the virus, especially outside of metro Atlanta. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, symptomatic or not, you can be tested in Georgia. [AJC]

• Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has renewed some executive orders to help residents during the pandemic, including extending instructions not to shut off water for those who have not paid bills and a 60-day moratorium on evictions for subsidized housing provided through several city organizations. [11 Alive]

• A one-year-old boy in Cobb County is now the state’s youngest COVID-19 victim. [AJC]

• Some students in Gwinnett County are returning to the classroom, which will be phasing in students for in-person learning through September 9. Families also had the option to continue virtual learning for the rest of the semester. [AJC]

• In just a week, the amount of COVID-19 cases among Georgia Tech students has more than doubled, with 641 total cases confirmed on Saturday. Classes started on August 17. Many cases during the first week were tied to the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house but have now spread to students living on and off campus, inside and outside the Greek life community. [WSB-TV]

• Meanwhile in Milledgeville, students at Georgia College staged a die-in protest, demanding that the college allow students and faculty to take and host online classes (currently, faculty must get supervisor approval) and improve contact tracing and testing. The school has among one of the highest COVID-19 rates in the county among colleges and universities. [AJC]

• The Georgia Department of Driver Services has again changed the way driving tests will be conducted. The department made headlines early in the pandemic for allowing new drivers to waive the road test, however, a few weeks later, Governor Kemp announced that those who waived the test would have to take it before September 30. Now, those applying for a license will take a driving test on a closed course, with the instructor watching from outside the vehicle. [AJC]

• While many parents, students, and school leaders applaud it, thousands of Georgia teachers are fretting the prospects—or realities—of face-to-face learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. But in a right-to-work state, do Georgia teachers worried about in-person learning during a pandemic have any recourse? Read our story here.

• How easily can COVID-19 spread in a classroom? We took a look into the risks and how the coronavirus can travel in schools.