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, March 13, with news and details of COVID-19 in Georgia.
6 p.m.: Retailers acknowledge the sudden rush emptied some stores of paper and cleaning products, but insist the scarcity is only on the shelves — not farther up the supply chain in company warehouses or among thousands of suppliers. Companies just need some time to catch up. Andy Peters, Michael E. Kanell and Matt Kempner fill you in.
4 p.m.: Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said Friday a facility is under construction at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Monroe County, Greg Bluestein reports, and when it’s complete it will be able to accommodate 20 temporary housing units. This will be a “quarantine space” for residents sickened by COVID-19 who have nowhere to go to isolate themselves.
4 p.m.: Editorial page editor Andre Jackson presents viewpoints by experts on infectious disease and economic forecasting who write about impact of the COVID-19 outbreak: Opinion: Assessing economic fallout of COVID-19 and Opinion: Now’s the time to act on coronavirus.
2:30 p.m.: Two more planeloads of passengers from the cruise ship hit by the coronavirus have arrived at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, bringing the total quarantined there to 499, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Friday. Jeremy Redmon, Chelsea Prince and Tia Mitchell tell you what that means.
2 p.m.: Delta Air Lines is cutting flights 40% and parking 300 planes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, airport blogger Kelly Yamanouchi reports. Atlanta-based Delta said it will also eliminate all flights to continental Europe for the next 30 days.
2 p.m.: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are not expected to attend Sunday services at Maranatha Baptist Church, Ernie Suggs reports. The church will meet, but the Carters will not come because their ages put them in a high-risk category, “which I think is a wise decision,” the Rev. Tony Lowden said.
1:45 p.m.: Jeremy Redmon checks in with Joey Camp — the first COVID-19 patient to be isolated at a special park site in Georgia amid the coronavirus pandemic — via video chat. Camp is an Afghanistan war veteran and former Georgia National Guardsman.
12:45 p.m.: Atlanta Public Schools will offer students daily free meals at five sites while buildings are closed, Vanessa McCray reports. The five sites are: Douglass High School, Cleveland Avenue Elementary School, Bunche Middle School, Sylvan Middle School and Phoenix Academy, which is at Crim High School.
12:30 p.m.: Alexis Stevens outlines how school closings are leaving many Georgia parents scrambling — especially single parents who can’t afford to stay home from work.
12:30 p.m.: As the number of coronavirus cases in Georgia increases, law enforcement officers across metro Atlanta are taking additional measures to protect themselves. Breaking news reporter Shaddi Abusaid has the details.
12:15 p.m.: Don’t be stuck at home alone. J.D. Capelouto reports public animal shelters in Fulton and DeKalb counties have free dog adoptions through next week. Remember, there is no evidence you can get the coronavirus from pets.
Noon: Sunday’s scheduled Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway has been postponed, Steve Hummer reports. “We believe this decision is in the best interest of the safety and well-being of our fans, competitors, officials and everyone associated with our sport. We will continue to monitor this dynamic situation as we assess future race events,” NASCAR said.
10:15 a.m.: Sports editor Chris Vivlamore reports the Masters golf tournament has been postponed, and no reschedule date has been announced. “Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals,” Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said Friday.
8:10 a.m.: Our Sports team reports
8 a.m.: The coronavirus pandemic has upended Georgia politics as candidates and state leaders race to keep ahead of the outbreak of the disease, Greg Bluestein writes. On Thursday, Georgia lawmakers abruptly suspended the legislative session. Candidates canceled events and announced they would no longer hit the campaign trail. And the Democratic Party of Georgia scrapped a major fundraiser that would have featured former Vice President Joe Biden.
7 a.m.: Hawks owner Tony Ressler told beat writer Sarah K. Spencer the organization will take care of both its part-time and full-time employees while the NBA is in limbo. As the situation with coronavirus continues to unfold, it’s impossible to know if NBA games will resume play after 30 days.
6:30 a.m.: First responders brace for strain from coronavirus, Yamil Berard reports. If a growing number of communities lose first responders to COVID-19, there won’t be enough left to handle emergency calls of any type, resulting in a public health crisis.
1 a.m.: Alexis Stevens stayed on the job late yesterday to report the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Georgia has climbed to 42. Cobb and Fulton counties each have eight confirmed cases, according to state officials. New cases of the virus have been reported in Bartow, Cherokee, Coweta, DeKalb, Fayette, Fulton and Gordon counties.
Thursday’s top stories
- Georgia schools and colleges close classrooms for coronavirus, Maureen Downey, Ty Tagami and Marlon Walker report. Georgia’s public colleges and many of the state’s largest school districts announced one after the other Thursday they would be shutting down campuses for a couple weeks or more, and where possible moving online, after the coronavirus claimed its first life here.
- While the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 remains small, efforts to contain the outbreak mean canceled events, fewer visitors and chilled consumer spending in Atlanta, Michael Kanell reports. Cancellations of high-profile events can ripple through a local economy, said Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University.
Gov. Brian Kemp ordered thousands of state employees to work from home
Sports world reeling as coronavirus sparks massive suspensions, cancellations
The coronavirus outbreak has canceled several events, but the Atlanta Fair will remain open
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