Atlanta’s latest coronavirus updates: Wednesday, March 18

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

Atlanta coronavirus update Matt Ryan donates Giving Kitchen
Falcons QB Matt Ryan pledged on Tuesday to donate $100,000 to Atlanta Community Food Bank and Giving Kitchen.

Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On Tuesday, UGA students said goodbye to graduation ceremonies and a metro county declared emergency. Here’s your Wednesday morning update:

• There are now 146 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia. [GA Dept. of Public Health]

• Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order to create a $7 million emergency fund for groups impacted by the virus. The package sets aside $1 million each for children’s food programs, senior food programs, and homeless preparedness; $1.5 million for small businesses; $1 million for technology for City of Atlanta employee teleworking infrastructure; and $1.5 million to help “hourly wage earners of businesses engaged with the City of Atlanta.” [City of Atlanta]

• Gwinnett County has declared a state of emergency, which will grant Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash the ability to “additional powers to suspend laws, use public property or create temporary housing as necessary,” per the AJC.

• Spring graduation ceremonies for UGA have been canceled. Georgia Southern is also canceling commencement; Morehouse and Clark Atlanta will move ceremonies to December. [AJC]

• On Twitter, Emory epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Patzer, illustrated one of the sacrifices healthcare workers are making in the crisis—her husband, an emergency department doctor, has moved into their garage apartment to help keep Patzer, their three-week-old baby, and their other two children safe. The thread has been shared more than 40,000 times.

• Following Magic City and other Atlanta icons, the Clermont Lounge is now temporarily closed. [Twitter]

• Kroger stores—Disco, BeltLine, all of them—will now open at 8 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. to clean and restock. They’re also hiring more workers. This follows Publix announcing they would close stores at 8 p.m. [WSBTV]

Whole Foods will begin opening an hour early to seniors aged 60 and above to give then more space to shop. Dollar General is also making its first hour a seniors-only shopping time. [USA Today]

• Ponce City Market is now temporarily closed. Neighbor Krog Street Market has switched to takeout and delivery. [Eater Atlanta]

• As the restaurant industry continues hurdling toward some dark days, GoFundMe campaigns have begun to pop-up for employees, including Elmyr and Brick Store Pub. Eater Atlanta is keeping a list of ways to help restaurants specifically, along with lists of restaurants offering takeout.

• Bored kiddos? The Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library system is doing video storytime, and the Center for Puppetry Arts is also livestreaming shows. [WABE/AJC]

• United Way of Greater Atlanta has started a COVID-19 fund response and recovery fund. [United Way]

• The Atlanta Falcons have released Devonta Freeman. This has absolutely nothing to do with coronavirus, but it was sure nice to have Tuesday’s swath of NFL news as a distraction. (Tom Brady in the NFC? Dang.) [Falcons/ESPN]

• But in some really great Falcons coronavirus news (promise we’re going somewhere with this), Matt Ryan and his wife, Sarah, are donating $100,000 to be split between the Giving Kitchen and Atlanta Community Food Bank. [WSBTV]

• Finally, here is a video of Atlanta United Head Coach Frank de Boer showing off with roll of toilet paper. [Twitter]