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Latest Atlanta coronavirus news: Atlanta mayor bans public gatherings

How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Quarantine.

7 new cases in Fulton; 2 in Gwinnett; 4 more in Cobb; 6 in Dougherty

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 Sunday, March 15, with news and details of COVID-19 in Georgia.

» Complete coverage: Coronavirus

8:30 p.m.: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced a ban on public gatherings in the city amid the coronavirus pandemic, Raisa Habersham reported. "In an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, I have declared a State of Emergency within the city of Atlanta, prohibiting large public gatherings of more than 250 people," Bottoms said on her Twitter page Sunday evening. The ban will continue through the end of the month.

8 p.m.: A Newton County school system employee has tested positive for the coronavirus Alexis Stevens reports. The employee, whose name was not released, worked at the Newton County Theme School in Covington, which has students from kindergarten through eighth grade, according to the district.

7p.m.: More than 30 people quarantined at two sites in Georgia amid the coronavirus pandemic were released this weekend, state and federal officials said Sunday, a glimmer of good news as the tally of confirmed cases climb, Scott Trubey and Jeremy Redmon report. Thirty-two former passengers of the Grand Princess cruise ship — including 23 Georgians and nine from Oklahoma — have returned home from Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta.

3:30 p.m.: 

T

he only coronavirus patient to be isolated at Georgia’s special quarantine site said state health officials were sending him home to Canton, the AJC’s Jeremy Redmon reports
Joey Camp, a former Georgia National Guardsmen who cooked at a Waffle House in Canton before he became ill, said he no longer needed to be quarantined because he did not have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19.

2:45 p.m.: 

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport said  operations there are normal as airlines and passengers navigate new travel restrictions enacted to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Scott Trubey reports
Elise Durham, a spokeswoman for the world’s busiest airport, said in a brief email that “all operations are running smoothly.”

2:30 p.m.: As flights to Europe are canceled en masse, Delta Air Lines' customers are encountering problems trying to change their flights on the airline's website and are facing hourslong waits for customer service on the phone. Airport blogger Kelly Yamanouchi has Delta's response.

2:15 p.m.: Fulton County Schools took the initiative last week when it became the first Georgia school district to shut down in reaction to the spreading coronavirus, but, Ty Tagami reports, a new confirmed case in a high school illustrates the risk of relaxing too soon.

» A roundup of metro county services reduced or adapted for coronavirus control

12:15 p.m.: 

Twenty-three Georgians and nine Oklahomans who were quarantined at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta amid the coronavirus pandemic returned home this weekend, Jeremy Redmon reports
Eight other Georgians remain at Dobbins, though they were expected to return home Sunday.

Noon: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state of Georgia has increased to 99, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Asia Simone Burns reports. The latest data from the DHP shows the spike, which rose from 66 cases on Saturday.

10 a.m.: Asia Simone Burns reports Atlanta Gas Light and Georgia Power, who are both owned by Southern Co., said they will not terminate services for customers due to nonpayment amid COVID-19 concerns.

9:30 a.m.: Electric cooperative Jackson EMC announced Sunday its offices will be open only for drive-through services starting Monday, March 16. It also will suspend disconnections for nonpayment during the coronavirus pandemic. Jackson provides power in 10 counties, including Gwinnett, Hall and Athens-Clarke.

8 a.m.: Many Atlanta businesses and organizations are doing what they can to remain open or to prevent the spread of the coronavirus once they re-open. Andy Peters talked to businesses getting a thorough cleaning, and to the companies that will clean them.

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