US Could Become Next Epicenter of Coronavirus Crisis

Latest Atlanta coronavirus news: 7 people in Georgia have died since noon

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is committed to providing our readers with the most comprehensive coverage of the deadly coronavirus. 

This blog will be updated throughout Wednesday, March 25, with news and details of COVID-19 in Georgia.

» Complete coverage: Coronavirus

7 p.m.: The Georgia Department of Public Health announced there have been seven more deaths from COVID-19 since noon, bringing the state’s total death toll to 47, Chelsea Prince and Zachary Hansen report. In addition, 140 more cases have been confirmed, bringing the total to 1,387 since the coronavirus pandemic entered Georgia. Of those cases, 438 patients are hospitalized, according to the DPH.

6:45 p.m.: A shortage of kits and testing supplies nationally means rationing of coronavirus tests is likely to continue in Georgia, J. Scott Trubey reports, and state officials do not know when broader testing of the public will be possible.

» Coronavirus in Georgia: stats in real time

» Officials face tough choice as homebound Atlantans flock to parks

2:15 p.m.:  A fifth Georgia state senator has revealed he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus a week after being urged to go into self-quarantine, Maya T. Prabhu reports State Sen. Lester Jackson, a Savannah Democrat, said he learned Wednesday he is positive for the coronavirus.

12:30 p.m.: Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has seen an 85% decline in passengers, Kelly Yamanouchi reports, while revenue at the Atlanta airport could be down by 50% or more, according to the airport’s top official.

12:30 p.m.:  Elton John is teaming with iHeartMedia and Fox for the “Living Room Concert for America,” a music event to support health professionals and first responders, music blogger Melissa Ruggieri reports John will host the event, which will feature performances from Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and more to be announced.

Noon:  The impact of the coronavirus in Georgia continues to deepen, with 1,247 confirmed cases and 40 deaths, Chelsea Prince reports The latest figures from the Georgia Department of Public Health are an increase of about 14% from Tuesday’s final case count of 1,097. There were two more deaths reported Wednesday.

» What Georgia’s mayors and county leaders were told about the pandemic that you need to know, too

» Officials temporarily halt default student loan debt collection

11:45 a.m.:  A second member of the Church at Liberty Square in Cartersville has died after testing positive for the highly contagious coronavirus, Jeremy Redmon reports Harold Johnson Passmore, 78, a church usher and food pantry volunteer from Fairmount, died Monday.

11:30 a.m.: Norcross-based restaurant chain Waffle House has opted to close hundreds of diners across the country, buckling after weeks of executives scoffing at precautions other brands had taken in light of the coronavirus. Stephanie Toone has the story.

10 a.m.: Along with its most serious damages, the global pandemic has also really messed up the wedding season, Bo Emerson writes. Brides (and grooms) must not only adjust to working at home, perhaps losing their jobs, maybe seeing their parents sicken, but also must watch the elaborate plans for what would have been a highlight of their young lives, crash and burn.

9:20 a.m.: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will headline an hourlong primetime town hall event Thursday to discuss the growing coronavirus pandemic that will be broadcast on the six major channels in Atlanta. Greg Bluestein fills you in on when and where to watch.

9 a.m.: A massive coronavirus stimulus deal reached between the White House and federal lawmakers is expected to include loans and loan guarantees for airlines, providing relief for Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, the largest U.S. carrier by revenue. Airport blogger Kelly Yamanouchi has the details.

» Still want a taste of the city without leaving home? Join a virtual food tour

8 a.m.:  A MARTA employee reported testing positive for the coronavirus, David Wickert reports MARTA told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late Tuesday it has not been able to independently confirm the employee’s test results, and it declined to provide the employee’s role at the transit agency. 

7 a.m.:  A health center that serves Atlanta Public Schools students is offering drive-through COVID-19 testing, Vanessa McCray reports Whitefoord Inc. is providing screening, testing and a hotline for those who may have been infected with the virus sweeping the nation.

» This map tracks the coronavirus globally in real time

6:30 a.m.: As coronavirus cases climbed over 1,000 in Georgia, two Atlanta neighborhoods have found ways to help seniors and residents vulnerable to the coronavirus, Raisa Habersham reports. A Capitol View resident is spearheading the neighborhood’s COVID-19 Senior Support group with the hopes of assisting seniors who are unable to get essential items such as medication and groceries.

» Atlanta United’s Guzan thanks those who are keeping the country going

» If you get COVID-19, how long can you expect to be sick?

OVERNIGHT

  • “The Room Where It Happens” will be empty for a while, Melissa Ruggieri reports. The Fox Theatre is postponing the full run of “Hamilton” as the venue remains closed due to ongoing coronavirus precautions from city and public health officials.
  • In the seven hours since the last update, the Georgia Department of Public Health announced there have been six more deaths from COVID-19 across the state in addition to 71 more confirmed cases. Chelsea Prince and Zachary Hansen report that  brings the number of confirmed cases to 1,097 since the coronavirus pandemic entered Georgia, and 38 people have died.

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