According to public health officials and political leaders, the current state of testing will not allow Americans to safely return to work any time soon.

Latest Atlanta coronavirus news: Death toll rises to 668 in Georgia

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 Friday, April 17, with news and details of COVID-19 in Georgia.

» Complete coverage: Coronavirus 

7 p.m.:  Georgia recorded 18 additional coronavirus-related deaths since noon, bringing the state’s toll to 668, Chelsea Prince and Zachary Hansen report In addition, the DPH announced 238 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state, which brings the total to 17,432 since the coronavirus pandemic entered Georgia.

» COVID-19 photo gallery: Life on the frontlines

4:30 p.m.: The state of Georgia doesn’t know the race of many of the people tested for the coronavirus because it left the race question off of its own testing registration form, Ariel Hart reports. After the AJC pointed it out, the form was fixed.

4 p.m.:  The Marietta City School System  has installed Wi-Fi hot spots with 5G cellular connections on 12 school buses that will be parked from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday for students to use the connection to do their school work. Kristal Dixon has the details.

» Coronavirus in Georgia: stats in real time

3 p.m.:  The University of Georgia announced it will move its postponed May graduation to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at Sanford Stadium.  Its May 8 ceremony was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Maureen Downey has the story.

Noon:  More than 3,500 new coronavirus cases and 150 deaths have been verified across Georgia since the week began, Chelsea Prince reports With the Georgia Department of Public Health’s update at noon Friday, the state now has 17,194 verified cases and 650 deaths due to the novel coronavirus.

9:30 a.m.: Atlanta Public Schools has shut down two of its 10 food distribution sites after employees tested positive for COVID-19. Vanessa McCray has the details.

9:30 a.m.: State actions were too little, too late to spare senior care residents, Carrie Teegardin reports. Gov. Brian Kemp on April 8 ordered senior care homes to take aggressive steps to curb the virus, but by then the outbreak had killed at least 81 residents of nursing homes and assisted living communities.

7:15 a.m.: Dr. Janet Cox, a clinical psychologist licensed in the state of Georgia, offers tips to help yourself and others in this stressful time.

7 a.m.: Nationwide closings at meatpacking plants represent a fraction of the country’s food production, but many poultry experts fear that with the walkouts, illnesses and deaths, Georgia's poultry industry might soon come under threat. Ernie Suggs has the details.

6:30 a.m.: In the past few weeks, there’s been a surge in the number of people seeking out lawyers who specialize in end-of-life affairs. Helena Oliviero tells you why more Georgians are getting their wills ready.

» This map tracks the coronavirus globally

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