Latest Atlanta coronavirus news: Georgia cases increase to 7,558 and 294 deaths since noon

The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed an additional 95 cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 6,742.

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 Monday, April 6, with news and details of COVID-19 in Georgia.

» Complete coverage: Coronavirus 

7 p.m.: Since noon, the Georgia Department of Public Health has reported 65 more deaths and 244 new cases. This brings the state's death toll to 294 and the total number of cases to 7,558.

3 p.m.: Curious about wearing masks, shopping and walking amid the coronavirus pandemic? Helena Oliviero has the details from Emory University infectious disease expert Dr. Marybeth Sexton.

2:15 p.m.: Essential workers will begin to receive "hero pay" from Atlanta Public Schools. Vanessa McCray reports the pay will be given to workers who cannot shelter in place as they work or are still required to interact with the public.

1 p.m.: Gov. Brian Kemp's statewide shelter-in-place order doesn't close state parks and beaches, and Bo Emerson reports Georgians have crowded hiking trails and parks.

noon: Tim Darnell reports a Columbus police officer has reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. The officer's name and assignment won't be released. Police Chief Ricky Boren told WRBL the Columbus Police Department is working to confirm the report.

noon: Asia Simone Burns reports new numbers tied to the coronavirus from the Georgia Department of Health. There are now 7,314 confirmed cases in the state and the death toll has reached 229.

11:20 a.m.: Kristal Dixon reports Cobb County and Marietta City schools have adjusted their grading policies while school buildings remain closed due to the coronavirus.

11:15 a.m.: Vince Dooley, famous former Georgia coach and athletic director, tells Mark Bradley he's not sure there will be a college football season amid the coronavirus pandemic as he and Georgians shelter in place.

11 a.m.: Marlon A. Walker reports DeKalb County Schools won't have meal service during spring break, DeKalb County School District Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson announced. To help hold them over, students collected five additional meals on April 3. Snack service will resume as-is, DeKalb County announced.

10:30 a.m.: Leon Stafford reports on how the Chris Tucker Foundation is providing metro Atlanta schools provisions for breakfast and lunch during spring break. Tucker is a native of Atlanta.

10: 30 a.m.: In businesses news, Matt Kempner reports Duluth-based Asbury Automotive said it has made cuts —  including furloughing 2,300 employees — amid the coronavirus pandemic.

9:45 a.m.: The Haralson County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post Sunday that a Georgia man and refused to self-quarantine after he tested positive for COVID-19. His girlfriend had also refused to self-quarantine. Asia Simone Burns has the details.

8:30 a.m.: The AJC's Political Insider blog reports on the different political approaches toward the coronavirus pandemic.

7:30 a.m.: CVS Health has announced it's opening a drive-through testing site for COVID-19 in Atlanta, J. Scott Trubey reports. CVS said in a news release that the testing site, which is located at Georgia Tech, will be able to accommodate as many as 1,000 patients each day. Patients must be pre-registered and schedule an appointment, however.

7 a.m.: Five Metro Atlantans who have battled the coronavirus tell Enterprise reporter Alexis Stevens how they conquered it.

6 a.m.: Key allies of Kemp have defended him after his statewide shelter-in-place order reopened Georgia beaches, which infuriated some coastal officials who had shuttered them. Political reporter Greg Bluestein has the details.

6 a.m.: Day care closings following Kemp's order for K-12 schools to shutter has placed pressure on "essential" workers, reports Ty Tagami and Tamar Hallerman. Day cares can still operate, but many have closed because of limits on public gatherings and fears of spreading the coronavirs.

6 a.m.: AJC columnist Bill Torpy shares his opinion on individuals complying with social distancing orders in Georgia after Kemp's statewide shelter-in-place order came following similar measures in nearby states. The order is meant to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

6 a.m.: The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the demand for alcohol delivery in Georgia. Hyperlocal Gwinnett County reporter Amanda C. Coyne has the details on House Bill 879 that would allow wine and beer to be delivered from merchants to consumers.

» Coronavirus in Georgia: stats in real time

» This map tracks the coronavirus globally


» Your Money: Resources during the coronavirus pandemic


» Photos: Metro Atlantans attend drive-in churches, socially distant services