LAST REVIEWED January 16, 2021 4:15 P.M. EST
Metro Atlanta, and all of Georgia, remain under a Public Health State of Emergency through Jan. 8, 2020. Residents are encouraged to remain home, but if they go out in public they should wear masks. Georgia has given more than 5.84M million COVID-19 tests. There have been 674,994 cases and there is currently a 10.8% positive rate. At least 11,029 people have died. The rolling 7-day average of new cases is 6,952. The rolling 7-day average is 17.6% positive.
The COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in metro Atlanta with the first doses administered Dec. 16. The state is giving the vaccines to healthcare workers and nursing homes in Phase 1A, which is expected to be completed by end of January. People 65 years old and up have also been moved to Phase 1A. Vaccines for people 65 and up began Jan. 11. The general public could begin receiving the vaccine in March. So far, the state has administered 183,870 vaccines.
The governor’s latest order allows counties and states to allow mask mandates in public. Residents who are over 65 years old are no longer ordered to shelter in place unless they live in a nursing home or long care facility or are medically fragile. Georgians are required to quarantine two weeks if travelling to NY, NJ, CT and Chicago.
Business and facilities
There is no longer a party maximum for groups at restaurants. Bars can now have up to fifty people or 35% of listed fire capacity. Salad bars and buffets can reopen with cafeteria style service. Atlanta’s mayor asked that no one have gatherings of 10 or more people on city property and rolled back voluntarily reopening to Phase 1.
Conventions are allowed as of July 1 if they meet 21 state requirements. Live performance venues were also allowed to open on July 1 if the business complied with state criteria.
According to GEMA, 57.9% of ER beds are in use across Georgia. There were 91 COVID-19 hospitalizations today. Across Georgia, 85.3% of critical care beds are in use and 84.2% of general inpatient beds are available in hospitals. There are 1,350 adult ventilators in use, about 37.6% of the state’s inventory. State virus tracking numbers are available daily at midnight.
Many school districts are returning virtually for the start of the school year, while others have chosen to let families choose between in-person instruction and virtual learning. For a county-by-county list of when and how schools are returning, click here.
How to help
How to get help
The Atlanta Community Food Bank is working to help families in need. They have a map of places you can visit to get help. Unemployment resources are available here.
MARTA is taking extra precautions to protect riders and requiring masks. They are regularly cleaning buses, rail, vans and all stations. MARTA has made a variety of service changes and reductions due to COVID-19. Gwinnett Transit workers are rallying for a no mask. no ride policy.
The Georgia Department of Health has a large number of COVID-19 testing sites. Testing is available to all residents at this time.
More COVID-19 news
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