On Tuesday, COVID-19 cases surged yet again as the governor announced plans for more testing. Here’s your Wednesday morning update:
• There are now 4,117 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia, which is up more than 1,000 cases from yesterday morning. 102 people have died (up 23 from yesterday morning). 885 have been hospitalized. 16,181 people have been tested (up more than 2,700 from yesterday morning). Dougherty County, one of the hardest-hit spots in the county, now has the most deaths at 26, far out pacing Fulton’s 18. [GA Dept. of Public Health]
• More testing, hopefully, is on the way after Governor Kemp’s office announced that through a partnership with the University System of Georgia, the Georgia Public Health Laboratory, and Emory University, the state will soon be able to process more than 3,000 samples a day. (The ramp-up efforts begin today.) The COVID-19 tests will be processed in labs at Georgia State, Augusta University, Emory, and the Georgia Public Health Laboratory. [Office of the Governor]
• Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that city employees who are still reporting to work are now eligible for hazard pay—an extra $500 per month. The employees include police and firefighters, along with essential personnel in the watershed department, solid waste, transportation, and several other departments. [AJC]
• The Gwinnett County Solicitor General’s Office is threatening a $1,000 fine and/or 60 days in jail if you violate the county’s shelter in place mandate. Granted, the county plans to save that only for “egregious violations,” but still, stay home if you can and social distance. [11 Alive]
• The state’s GOP congressional delegation is asking the secretary of state to further postpone Georgia’s primary election, which was rescheduled to May 19 a few weeks ago. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said he doesn’t have the ability to postpone the election, citing state law that says elections can only postponed for 45 days. He previously mandated that absentee ballot applications be sent to all registered voters for the upcoming primary. [AJC]
• Our March issue, which was printed back in February before COVID-19 struck, is all about tacos. We finally put the package online yesterday after the outbreak delayed our original plans to publish it in mid-March and have updated it to show which restaurants featured offer takeout, curbside pick-up, and delivery. It’s thankfully most of them, and tacos are a great takeout option, so please consider supporting our local businesses. Read the full package here.