January 14, 2020 - Atlanta - Rep. Calvin Smyre D - Columbus, watches as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms talks with the media after she addressed the house. The Georgia General Assembly continued with the second legislative day of the 2020 session. Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

Atlanta Mayor to limit public gatherings to 50 due to virus

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is revising her executive order limiting public gatherings from 250 to 50 people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus; a person in a homeless shelter has tested positive for the virus; and there are discussions about closing bars and restaurants, according to a list serve post from State Rep. Pat Gardner, D-Atlanta to her constituents on Monday.

Gardner attributed the information to a conference call she was on with the Mayor Monday.

Gardner also said there are talks about how to isolate homeless people who test positive for the virus.

There was no immediate response from the mayor’s office.

But Bottoms did confirm some of the information during an interview on CNN.

Georgia Restaurant Association Chief Executive Officer Karen Bremer told The Atlanta Journal Constitution that her organization would prefer that restaurants and bars continue to operate. But if the mayor orders them closed, Bremer asked that they still be allowed to provide takeout and delivery food service, which accounts for about 30 percent of a restaurant’s business. 

“I’m not understanding why this is an issue,” Bremer said. “This is not a food-borne illness.”

Bremer said that last week overall business at Georgia restaurants had  dropped by 50 to 70 percent. 

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