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 Saturday, March 14, with news and details of COVID-19 in Georgia.
5:45 p.m.: Georgia’s chief justice has declared a statewide judicial emergency, Tyler Estep reports, ordering courts and clerk’s offices to “suspend all but essential court functions” amid growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus. Unless amended, the order affecting all Georgia courts and clerk’s offices will be in place for 30 days.
5:45 p.m.: Zoo Atlanta announced Saturday afternoon that it will close to the public through the end of March amid the coronavirus pandemic, Shaddi Abusaid reports. “While the zoo is an almost exclusively open-air destination and is a resource for thousands of students, families and individuals who benefit from the zoo experience and its connections with wildlife, the difficult decision to temporarily close is driven by Zoo Atlanta’s commitment to the well-being of its members, guests, team and volunteers, and community,” the zoo said.
2 p.m.: Sandy Springs officials announced Saturday all city facilities, including City Hall and municipal court, will be closed to the public until further notice, Adrianne Murchison reports. City staff will work remotely.
1 p.m.: Thirty-one Georgia residents quarantined at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta are heading home. Jeremy Redmon reports Georgia has been given federal permission to help return the group, who were passengers on a cruise ship hit by the coronavirus.
12:45 p.m.: Delta Air Lines will suspend more routes after President Donald Trump put in place a monthlong restriction on European travel Wednesday, and said it will “fly a significantly reduced U.S.-Europe schedule” after Sunday. According to Kelly Yamanouchi’s report, the attempt to prevent the spread of the cornonavirus does not apply to the United Kingdom.
11:30 a.m.: The number of coronavirus cases spike overnight, Shaddi Abusaid reports. There are now 15 cases in Cobb County, 13 in Fulton, eight in DeKalb, seven in Bartow, five in Cherokee, four in Fayette, three in Floyd, two in Coweta, two in Gordon, two in Gwinnett and one case each in Lee, Henry, Lowndes, Polk and Charlton counties, according to the latest data.
10 a.m.: Gov. Brian Kemp has declared an unprecedented public health emergency and said he’ll use broad powers under the law to help the state contain the spread of coronavirus. Greg Bluestein has all the details.
8:30 a.m.: Brookhaven’s City Hall employees have been asked to self-quarantine after a city administrator tested positive for the coronavirus Friday evening, Shaddi Abusaid reports. In a tweet, officials said City Hall would be closed to the public until March 30 after the employee notified management of the positive test.
7 a.m.: One of the largest grocery store chains in the Southeast will be closing earlier every day Zachary Hansen reports. Publix announced on Twitter that all stores will close at 8 p.m. until further notice. The policy will go into effect Saturday. There are 1,243 Publix stores across seven states, including Georgia.
7 a.m.: The rush of consumers to markets, the long lines, the shelves emptied of staples, the anxious expressions — all were very human, even sensible reactions to a noxious mix of danger, uncertainty and chaos. Michael E. Kanell talks with behavioral experts about what’s happening in stores.
7 a.m.: The rise in coronavirus cases in Georgia is forcing many places of faith to change the way they worship. Shelia M. Poole reports some pastors and denominations have asked members to forgo drinking Communion wine, replace hugs and handshakes with elbow bumps and waves, and more.
Is Atlanta overreacting to the coronavirus pandemic? Helena Oliviero talks to experts about we’re handling this.
The growing coronavirus outbreak has led to school closures, the cancellation of major sporting events, concerts, festivals and much more. Helena Oliviero takes a look at stunning developments related to the coronavirus this past week.
FRIDAY’S TOP STORIES
- 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.
- Two more planeloads of passengers from the cruise ship hit by the coronavirus have arrived at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta
- Delta Air Lines is cutting flights 40% and parking 300 planes in response to the coronavirus pandemic
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