City of Atlanta Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response

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What Happened

On March 2, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp, Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Kathleen Toomey, M.D. and state officials confirmed Georgia’s first cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). According to DPH, The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. DPH also began regularly coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The outbreak continues to grow in China and cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States. There is now community (person to person) spread in other countries outside of China. There are ongoing investigations to learn more about the virus, how it is transmitted, and how to prevent the spread of disease.

On March 3, 2020, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms made public the City’s ongoing preparations to any potential health threats posed by Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). “The full efforts of the City are invested in the urgent and deliberate coordinated response with federal and state partners this health threat demands,” said Mayor Bottoms. “City officials—including those appointed to the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force—are working in concert to ensure the well-being of the people of Atlanta. Further, information and additional resources have been posted to the City’s website. Atlanta residents should be safe and protect themselves and their loved ones.”

What The City of Atlanta is Doing

The City of Atlanta cares deeply about the health of its employees and their families. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms outlined the City’s efforts related to Coronavirus 2019. To help keep you safe and healthy, we are doing the following to ensure a healthy and safe environment at City facilities:

  • February 2020 - Under the direction of Mayor Bottoms, the Mayor’s Pandemic Coordination Team was created to lead the City’s strategic plan to ensure minimal impact to the City of Atlanta in the case of a COVID-19 pandemic. The team is led by the City’s Chief Health Officer, Dr. Angelica Geter Fugerson, and the City’s Director of Emergency Preparedness and former FBI Special Agent, Felipe den Brok. https://www.atlantaga.gov/Home/Components/News/News/13278/672
  • March 3 - Mayor Bottoms made public the City’s ongoing preparations to any potential health threats posed by Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
  • March 11 - Mayor Bottoms issued an Administrative Order directing the Commissioner of Watershed Management to refrain from taking any action which would result in the termination of water services for any Watershed Management customer due to non-payment for the next sixty (60) days.
  • March 11 - Mayor Bottoms issued an Administrative Order directing the Chief Financial Officer to coordinate with the Chief Health Officer and Director of Emergency Preparedness to develop a financial framework to identify funds to implement the activities and needs of the Mayor’s Coronavirus Pandemic Coordination Team.
  • March 12 – Mayor Bottoms announced the City is implementing a full telework deployment for all non-essential employees through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 pursuant to the terms of the City’s recently issued Telework Policy. City Hall was closed to the general public.
  • March 14 - Mayor Bottoms announced the Centers of Hope Afterschool program will continue to provide free meals to all students who rely on them throughout the closure of schools.
  • March 16 - Mayor Bottoms issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that public assemblages, events and gatherings of 250 or more persons be prohibited within the City and territorial limits of the City of Atlanta until March 31, 2020.
  • March 16 - Mayor Bottoms issued an updated Executive Order prohibiting public gatherings and events of 50 or more persons within the City of Atlanta until March 31, 2020. The new Executive Order follows the latest Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
  • March 17 - Mayor Bottoms issued an Executive Order calling on the Atlanta Housing Authority, Atlanta Beltline Inc., Fulton County / City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority, Invest Atlanta, Partners for Home and the City of Atlanta’s Department of Grants and Community Development to institute a temporary moratorium on residential evictions and filings for a period of sixty (60) days effective immediately.
  • March 17 - Mayor Bottoms issued an Executive Order creating a $7 million emergency fund to provide assistance to those impacted by COVID-19. The resources are designated to fund emergency assistance to food programs for children and seniors, homeless preparedness, support to small businesses, assistance to hourly wage earners and other areas adversely impacted by COVID-19.
  • March 18 - Mayor Bottoms signed legislation—sponsored by Council members Andre Dickens and Marci Collier Overstreet—allowing the City to temporarily reduce Concessionaire and Car Rental Company rental requirements by suspending the Minimum Annual Guarantee (MAG) payment obligation in the Concessions and Consolidated Car Rental Agreements for a period of four (4) months, ending on June 30, 2020.
  • March 18 – Mayor Bottoms closed City Hall to essential and non-essential employees.
  • March 19 - Mayor Bottoms issued two Executive Orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. The first action orders the closure of all bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys, and arcades, and private social clubs, located within the territorial jurisdictional limits of the City of Atlanta. However, restaurants and other eating and drinking establishments where food is served may continue preparing and offering food to customers via delivery service, drive-through, or take-out. The second action suspends the booting and towing of vehicles in the City right of way, in an effort to assist restaurants and other eating establishments to continue to operate, and allow delivery service workers to maintain and manage their operations in what is anticipated to be an increase in food delivery services.
  • March 20 - Mayor Bottoms issued an Administrative Order directing the Atlanta Police Department to refrain from enforcing prohibitions against the sale of unopened wine or malt beverages by the package for off premises consumption by restaurants and other eating and drinking establishments licensed for the sale of those beverages. These businesses are those which must cease dine-in services but may still offer food to customers via delivery service, drive-through or take-out in accordance with any emergency declaration made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • March 23 - Mayor Bottoms issued an Executive Order instituting a temporary order for those individuals within the territorial jurisdictional limits of the City of Atlanta to stay in their place of residence in response to the rising number of COVID-19 infections.
  • March 24 - Mayor Bottoms issued an Executive Order postponing all meetings of City of Atlanta boards, authorities, commissions, committees or similar bodies which are scheduled to occur in City Hall or other City facilities.
  • March 26 - Mayor Bottoms announced the launch of #ATLSTRONG—a new website that will serve as a COVID-19 resource hub for Atlanta residents. By visiting ATLSTRONG.ORG, residents and business can sign up for COVID-19 text alerts, and request information on emergency fund assistance relief.
  • March 27 - Mayor Bottoms reissued an Executive Order directing individuals within the territorial jurisdictional limits of the City of Atlanta to stay in their place of residence to combat the spread of COVID-19. While restrictions are not being lifted, the City has clarified certain businesses deemed essential.
  • March 31 - Mayor Bottoms issued an Administrative Order directing the institution of a hazard pay policy for front-line City employees. Eligible employees will be compensated an additional $500 per month. The hazard pay policy applies to nearly 5,400 front-line staff positions, including: sworn public safety positions and civilians performing critical watershed, aviation, solid waste, transportation, inspection, parks and recreation and other frontline functions.
  • March 31 - Mayor Bottoms announced the launch of the #ATLSTRONG FUND, a donation campaign led by the Mayor’s Office in partnership with United Way of Greater Atlanta to support City of Atlanta residents experiencing economic hardships and health-related issues caused by COVID-19.

COVID-19 Administrative and Executive Orders:

Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19):

Where can I find reliable City of Atlanta COVID-19 updates and information?

Where can I find the most recent Georgia Department of Health updates on new COVID-19 cases in Georgia?

How can I protect myself and my family?

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  4. Stay home when you are sick.
  5. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with any disposable wipes.
  7. If you have recently returned from a country with ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials
  8. Resources for Home: Plan, prepare, and respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019
  9. How to Get Your Home Ready
  10. Check-List to Get Your Home Ready
  11. Cleaning and Disinfecting Recommendations
  12. If someone in your home is sick

Do I need to wear a face mask?
  1. The CDC recommends the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
  2. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
  3. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
  4. If you’re sick with COVID-19, or being evaluated for COVID-19, you should wear a face mask when you are around other people to help prevent spreading the disease to others.
  5. If you’re taking care of someone who has COVID-19, you should wear a face mask to protect yourself when you are in close contact with a person who is sick with COVID-19, or being evaluated for COVID-19. CDC information for household members and caregivers can be found here.
What can I do to prepare?

You can prepare for the possible disruption caused by an outbreak by doing the following:

  1. Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications (e.g. prescriptions) for your family.
  2. Make a child-care plan if you or a care giver are sick.
  3. Get your flu shot.
  4. Make arrangements for how your family will manage a school closure.
  5. Make a plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.
  6. Create a Check-List to Get Your Home Ready
  7. Resources for Home: Plan, prepare, and respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019
  8. Get up-to-date CDC info

How Can I Get Tested for COVID-19?

For Residents: How to get tested for COVID-19

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your state or local health department or a medical provider. While supplies of these tests are increasing, it may still be difficult to find a place to get tested.

Georgia Department of Health: 844-442-2681

Fulton County Board of Health: 404-613-8150

DeKalb County Board of Health : 404-294-3700, Press 1 for COVID-19 related matters. After hours, call 1-844-442-2681.

For Providers: How to request a test for your patient

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) uses an new online testing request system to streamline COVID-19 testing. Due to testing capacity, DPH is only able to test patients meeting certain criteria. Testing for patients with mild respiratory illness should be performed through a commercial laboratory. https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-online-testing-request

Mental Health, Anxiety, and Coping During COVID-19

  • According to the CDC, the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.
  • Visit the CDC website to learn more about coping during COVID-19.

Interim Guidance on COVID-19 Prevention

Coronavirus FAQ Translations

Resources from Local, State, and Federal Partners

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