Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Wednesday, April 8

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

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50 best things to do in Atlanta - Atlanta BeltLine
Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail—shown here several years ago. The mayor announced new usage rules for the trail on Tuesday.

Photograph courtesy of the Atlanta BeltLine

On Tuesday, the mayor implemented new rules for the BeltLine and new graphics showed our national standing. Here’s your Wednesday morning update:

• There are now 9,156 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia, 1,598 more than yesterday. 348 people have died, 54 more than yesterday. 1,899 have been hospitalized. 33,785 tests have been conducted. [GA Dept. of Public Health]

• The governor has extended Georgia’s state of emergency, originally set to expire on April 13, through May 13. [AJC]

• Critics have been calling on Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to close the Atlanta BeltLine after large crowds have routinely been spotted on the Eastside Trail despite signs urging pedestrians to stay six feet apart and to keep moving. Yesterday afternoon, the mayor announced new hours on trail: 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. is meant to be for the elderly and those with underlying conditions, much like the hours grocery stores have been implementing. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will be reserved for exercisers. From 2 p.m. onward, the trail is meant to be used for transit only and users are asked to avoid the trail if at all possible. [Twitter]

According to the AJC, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, a New Jersey-based generic pharmaceutical manufacturer, has 200,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate to Georgia, despite the fact that the drug, which is used to treat malaria, lupus, and rhemutoid arthritis, has not been proven to be safe or effective in the treatment of COVID-19. While President Trump has routinely talked up the drug, health experts, including Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia’s state health commissioner, have cautioned against using the drug for COVID-19 and warned that a rush on the drug could lead to shortages for patients who need it for other ailments. American Medical President and Atlanta physician Dr. Patrice Harris, also said the risks of hydroxychloroquine currently outweighed any benefits. [AJC]

Zoo Atlanta is taking additional measures to protect Sparky and Chelsea, the zoo’s two tigers, after a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19. The zoo staff wears personal protective equipment when in proximity of all of the big cats and primates. [AJC]

The New York Times published new graphs showing the virus’s spread across the U.S., and while the New York metro area has the most deaths nationwide, Albany, Georgia, has the most deaths per 100,000 residents, with 46 deaths per 100,000 residents. In contrast, New York has 25 deaths per 100,000 residents. The Atlanta metro area has 2.3 deaths per 100,000 residents. Another chart showed the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area (Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta) is 8th nationwide for total fatalities. Albany is 14th. [NYT]

• With Delta cutting in-flight meal services, the airline is donating excess food to hospitals and food banks. [AJC]

• With schools closed for the rest of the year, the state is gathering a map of public Wi-Fi spots for students who need internet access to do schoolwork—or for anyone else who might need internet access to do work or other essential responsibilities. Many of the facilities listed are libraries, which may be closed, but Wi-Fi may still be accessible from the parking lot. View the map here. [Georgia Dept. of Community Affairs]

• The Atlanta Ballet has been hosting dance classes, many of them kid-friendly, via Facebook Live. [Facebook]

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