Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Tuesday, May 5

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

Atlanta coronavirus updates
A few shoppers walk at Arbor Place Mall in Douglasville on May 4.

Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On Monday, as malls re-opened in Atlanta, an internal CDC report showed dire predictions for COVID-19 in the U.S. Here’s your Tuesday morning update:

• As of publication time, there have been 29,462 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia. 1,253 people have died. 200,814 tests have been conducted. 5,550 of those tested were hospitalized at the time. [GA Dept. of Public Health]

The New York Times acquired an internal report the CDC presented to the White House that predicts the national death toll will reach 3,000 people per day by June 1. (The current rate nationally is about 1,750 per day, and the September 11 terrorist attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, just to put that figure in perspective.) Metro Atlanta, meanwhile, has at best “seen new diagnoses level off at a high plateau,” according to the AJC‘s analysis of the report. The AJC pointed out that data released by the state health department conflicts, showing a “declining rate of infection and death from the virus statewide,” but that “some of the [the state’s] figures are too recent to be considered complete.” Many public health experts are still concerned that Georgia—along with the rest of the country—is re-opening far too quickly. Read the full CDC report here via NYT. [NYT/AJC]

• State health commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey went to Piedmont Park this last weekend, but says she was practicing social distancing and was dismayed to see others not doing the same. “What I’m concerned about is if people don’t respect these very reasonable guidelines that were laid out by Governor Kemp then in the next two, three, four weeks we are going to see markedly increasing cases, which is unnecessary, it’s preventable,” she told 11 Alive. “It doesn’t have to happen if people continue to follow appropriate social distancing.” [11 Alive]

• More testing woes—more than 2,000 tests from Georgia National Guard and Augusta University Health System drive-thru testing sites in metro Atlanta have been delayed as the Atlanta lab became “overwhelmed” and encountered issues with “the computer system used to access the test results and notify patients,” WSB-TV reports. The tests were transferred to an Augusta lab for processing, but the delay means patients won’t receive results in 72 hours like they are supposed to. Dr. Phillip Coule, the chief medical officer for Augusta University Health System, told WSB-TV that patients should get results within 4 days, but also said that “a small group” of the patients will need to be retested. [WSB-TV]

• The Fulton County Board of Health is facilitating mobile, walk-up testing sites all week long. Testing will take place from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. today at Mt. Nebo Baptist Church (1025 McDonough Boulevard Southeast), Wedensday in the Tuxedo Pharmacy parking lot (164 West Wieuca Road Northeast), and Thursday and Friday at Impact Church (2323 Sylvan Road). The Board of Health website says to call 404-613-8150 to check-in before going to the sites. [Fulton BOH]

COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, but society does. Longtime Atlanta contributor Michele Cohen Marill dives deeper into a CDC study we mentioned in these roundups last week. The study showed that of 305 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Atlanta and Albany, 80 percent were black. “Social and health disparities have long shaped life in Atlanta, which has the worst income inequality in the country,” Marrill writes, “COVID-19 has simply laid bare the consequences, in a life-and-death context.” Read our story here.

• Several metro Atlanta malls, including Lenox and Phipps, re-opened Monday but according to the AJC, there weren’t many shoppers to be found. A line formed outside Lenox upon its opening, but with many stores still closed, the retail centers had far from their usual traffic. The AJC did report a long line outside the Asian Chao in the Mall of Georgia’s food court. [AJC]

• The NFL has announced it will no longer play its planned International Series games for 2020, which included a Falcons game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. An extra Falcons home game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be added to the 2020 season schedule, which is expected to be released by the end of the week. [Atlanta Falcons]

• In Summerhill, Wood’s Chapel BBQ will re-open for takeout and delivery on Wednesday. Curbside pickup will be available, along with pickup from the patio window. [Wood’s Chapel]

• Two of Anne Quatrano’s restaurants are returning for takeout—Star Provisions will open for curbside pickup beginning today and Bacchanalia will serve takeout dinners available for curbside pickup beginning Thursday. [Star Provisions]

• In Virginia-Highland, chocolate shop Cacao Cafe will close permanently due to the pandemic. The AJC reports multiple factors went into the decision—one of the owners is immunocompromised and unable to work in the store and the owners couldn’t get a PPP loan or rent leniency from the building landlord. Cacao will continue as a chocolate brand, selling online. [AJC]