Latest Atlanta coronavirus news: 30 more deaths reported since noon in Georgia

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One man in DeKalb County said he feared his wife had coronavirus, but had to go through "red tape" procedures before finding out this week that she tested positive for the virus.

Georgia now has 16,368 confirmed cases, at least 617 deaths
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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 Thursday, April 16, with news and details of COVID-19 in Georgia.

» Complete coverage: Coronavirus 

7 p.m.: Thirty more patients diagnosed with COVID-19 have been reported in the state's number of deaths since the Department of Public Health's noon update. That brings the state's death toll to 617 since the coronavirus pandemic entered the state. On April 6, Georgia had 294 coronavirus-related deaths. In addition, 699 more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, bringing the state's total to 16,368. Chelsea Prince and Zachary Hansen also have the county numbers.

» This Sunday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will feature a special visual section, capturing the city during the pandemic

6 p.m.: Gov. Brian Kemp has used his emergency powers to protect Georgia's strained hospitals and medical workers from lawsuits related to the care they provide during the coronavirus pandemic. Chris Joyner and Sarah Kallis tell you what that means.

5 p.m.: 

Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz and entrepreneur Mychel “Snoop” Dillard provided hundreds of meals to health care workers at Southern Regional Medical Center on Thursday, music blogger Melissa Ruggieri reports. Dillard and 
2 Chainz own Escobar Restaurant and Tapas Lounge on Peters Street in Castleberry Hill, and utilized their access to food — and 2 Chainz’s TRU Foundation — to organize the food drop.

Noon: 

The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed 15,669 coronavirus cases, according to the latest data. With a projected peak in deaths still weeks away, officials have verified the deaths of at least 587 Georgians were due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus. Thirty-two more deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, Chelsea Prince reports.

9 a.m.: Law enforcement officials have only sparingly issued citations to Georgians violating the order, Greg Bluestein and Alexis Stevens report, nstead opting to take a softer approach to the restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

» COVID-19 claims former federal judge from Cobb County

7:15 a.m.: 

As the coronavirus pandemic shut down school buildings, a vast discrepancy became apparent: Not all students have the technology they need to continue to learn from home. 
A fundraising drive to provide devices and internet access for low-income Atlanta students has raised $350,000 so far. But, Vanessa McCray reports, much more is needed.

6:30 a.m.: A drive-through COVID-19 testing center is now open in Gwinnett County for anyone who is experiencing symptoms — with no doctor's orders necessary. Amanda C. Coyne has everything you need to know.

6 a.m.: As the pandemic has escalated from hot spot to hot spot, so has an interest in gardening, say seed and plant companies, nurseries and a leading garden research association. Rosalind Bentley talks to Atlantans about gardening.

» Coronavirus in Georgia: stats in real time

» This map tracks the coronavirus globally

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