Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Wednesday, April 15

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

Atlanta Coronavirus Updates
A tribute to healthcare workers outside the WellStar Atlanta Medical Center

Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On Tuesday, cornavirus data continued to be an issue and several new grants were distributed. Here’s your Wednesday morning update:

• There are now 14,578 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia, 2,028 more cases than yesterday morning. 524 people have died, 44 more than yesterday morning. 2,858 have been hospitalized. 61,795 tests have been conducted. [GA Dept. of Public Health]

• Late, missing, and incorrect data has been one of the bigger struggles of the coronavirus pandemic so far. We know that due to limited testing, the more than 14,000 reported positive cases in Georgia is likely much lower than the actual number. The state also doesn’t have clear numbers on the race and ethnicity of those affected by the virus, which makes it more difficult to see how hard COVID-19 is hitting minority communities. Data on the virus’s impact on Georgia’s nursing homes and senior care facilities has been particularly difficult—a state report released Tuesday about coronavirus in long-term care facilities was “was riddled with errors and omissions,” according to the AJC, mentioning 138 facilities that had confirmed cases but not Fulton County’s Summerset Assisted Living, “even though two-thirds of residents and staff there have tested positive for the virus.” It also overstated cases at one facility and underreported deaths at another. Both Governor Brian Kemp and public health commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey have acknowledged the issues with statewide coronavirus data, with Kemp saying the state will “continue to work on getting better data.” [AJC]

• With the final 11 days of the state’s legislative session in an indefinite limbo, the state’s ethics commission confirmed that lawmakers running for re-election cannot receive campaign finance contributions until the session is complete. This poses challenges for those campaigning before the June 9 primary, as it’s still not known when legislators will be able to return to the Gold Dome. [GPB]

• While absentee ballots mailed to Georgia voters will not come with paid postage, USPS has a general policy of delivering ballots whether or not they have postage, according to the AJC. The ballots will still ask for postage, and it’s a good idea to still include it if you can, especially considering USPS’s current financial trouble. [AJC]

• The Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, which is managed by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta, has distributed its fourth round of grants—a total of $1.8 million—to 18 organizations. Among the recipients of this round: 100 Black Men of America, Atlanta Regional Commission, Single Parent Alliance and Resource Center, Housing Justice League, Atlanta Police Department Foundation, and Action Ministries. Since last month, the fund has given $10.5 million to 62 nonprofits. [United Way]

• The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and Mercedes-Benz Stadium have launched three new programs to give back. The stadium and its food distributor Levy Restaurants will make 5,000 boxed meals a week for Piedmont Hospital locations in Fayette County and Newnan. Levy will also be using the kitchens at MBS to prep meals for nonprofit CHRIS 180, which will then distribute them to Atlantans in need on the Westside. Empire State South chef Hugh Acheson is also working with the foundation and Georgia Organics to provide meals to workers at the Atlanta Medical Center and at the VA, and is helping Metro YMCA, Carver Neighborhood Market, and HEALing Community Center distribute meals to families in need. [AMB Family Foundation press release]

• Zoo Atlanta’s CEO says the attraction will lose $8 million in revenue this spring, its peak season for attendance, and has laid-off all part-time and seasonal staff, as well as half of their full-time staff. The zoo has qualified for $2.4 million in aid from the CARES Act and is also accepting donations. [WSB-TV]