Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Tuesday, May 19

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

Atlanta coronavirus updates
A flight attendant works during a Delta flight on April 20.

Photograph by Rob Carr/Getty Images

On Monday, Morehouse College announced layoffs and furloughs and Delta announced it would resume some international routes. Here’s your Tuesday morning update:

• As of publication time, a total of 38,624 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Georgia. 1,649 people have died. 378,156 tests have been conducted. A total of 7,002 of those tested were hospitalized at the time. [GA Dept. of Public Health]

• Georgia’s first day of early voting saw a light but steady turnout of voters, GPB News reports, with just a few hiccups involving the state’s new touchscreen machines, including one voter accidentally causing a paper jam by removing their paper ballot too soon. Poll workers wore masks, and voters kept six feet apart in lines. The voters interviewed by GPB News reported the early voting process as a fairly quick one, taking 10 to 30 minutes from start to finish. [GPB News]

• Morehouse College has announced furloughs and layoffs in preparation for what they estimate could be a 25 percent decline in enrollment, 11 Alive reports. The HBCU announced that 54 employees will be furloughed for two months, 13 full-time employees will be laid off, and 194 exempt full-time employees will undergo pay cuts, as will faculty and staff who make more than $55,000. President David A. Thomas will decrease his salary by 25 percent. [11 Alive]

• DeKalb County is opening two new COVID-19 testing sites on Wednesday, located at Beulah Missionary Baptist Church (2340 Clifton Springs Road) and Rehoboth Baptist Church (2997 Lawrenceville Highway). Both sites are located in areas that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19. Testing is free, and patients should register for an appointment here or by calling 404-294-3700. [AJC]

• Delta is planning to resume several of its international routes next month, with destinations including Aruba; Jamaica; Cancun, Mexico; Costa Rica; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Lagos, Nigeria, among several others. [AJC]

• Atlanta-based New York Times writer Kim Severson dined at Chops recently and shared not only what her experience was like (very positive), but also examined how masks are transforming the hospitality industry. “The face mask is the most ubiquitous, and perhaps divisive, tool in an arsenal of protective measures,” Severson writes. “For some diners, seeing staff members wearing masks is a comfort. For others, the masks provoke anxiety.” Her story takes a thorough look at the changes happening at restaurants—both high-end and fast-food—across the country, including here in Atlanta at Chops, Lyla Lila, and Goldbergs. [New York Times]

• Speaking of restaurant changes, the White Bull in Decatur has announced it will renovate due to COVID-19, adding a back patio, new windows in the front, and a retail section to continue selling the pastas and sauces it began selling as a result of the pandemic. Takeout and delivery will also become permanent services. [Eater Atlanta]

What Now Atlanta reports that retailer Jeffrey has permanently closed at Phipps Plaza after 30 years. Nordstrom, which announced bankruptcy filings this month, bought the Atlanta-based shop in 2005. [What Now Atlanta]