Atlanta eases COVID-19 restrictions

09/04/2020 -Atlanta, Georgia - Delta Air Lines customers wear masks as they wait to be served at the ticker counter in the domestic terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Friday, September 4, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)
09/04/2020 -Atlanta, Georgia - Delta Air Lines customers wear masks as they wait to be served at the ticker counter in the domestic terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Friday, September 4, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

The city of Atlanta on Friday softened at least one major guideline related to COVID-19: Groups of 10 or fewer people can gather provided they practice social distancing.

The announcement signaled that the city had entered into phase two of its reopening plan and met a significant benchmark based on 75 people or less in Fulton County testing positive for the virus over a 14-day period, and no more than 200 hospitalized.

The city is still instructing residents to remain at home except for essential trips; wear face masks in public; frequently wash their hands; and practice social distancing.

Overall, the city has a five-phase reopening plan. During the final phase, described in a city pamphlets as the “New Normal,” larger gatherings and live events with appropriate social distancing and safety precautions will be allowed. City facilities will also open, while maintaining safety precautions including routine cleaning.

In late May, the city entered into its phase two reopening, but then scaled back to phase one a month later after more people began testing positive for the virus.

“The city has met the metrics of our data-driven plan to cautiously move back to Phase II,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a prepared statement. “COVID-19 continues to ravage families across the city and state. We must all remain vigilant, wear a mask, practice social distancing and take the measures needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities.”

The city has an online dashboard for COVID-related data that can be viewed here.

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