Category: Coronavirus

DeKalb County limits COVID-19 test site hours for holiday

The DeKalb County Board of Health is limiting the operating hours at its three COVID-19 testing sites for the Thanksgiving holiday. The sites include: BrandsMart USA parking lot, 5000 Motors Industrial Blvd., Doraville; Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church, 1879 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta; the parking lot of the former Sam’s Club at 2994 Turner Hill Road, Stonecrest. All three sites will close at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The Doraville and Atlanta sites will remain closed Nov. 26-28, while the Stonecrest site will be open Nov. 28, 9 a.m. to noon. Normal hours will resume Nov. 30. The county’s...

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Gov. Kemp says no new COVID-19 restrictions despite surge warning, talks vaccine distribution

Even as the White House Coronavirus Task Force warned that Georgia is “in the early stages of full resurgence” of the virus, Gov. Brian Kemp said in a Nov. 24 press conference that he has no plans to impose any additional restrictions on the state. “I don’t see any reason to take any additional steps right now,” Kemp said at the State Capitol, noting that Georgia has enough hospital capacity and personal protective equipment. “We’re not seeing a spike in cases here right now, so that’s why we’re urging people to follow the guidelines during the Thanksgiving holiday,” Kemp...

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Atlanta nonprofit offers COVID-19 relief loans for small businesses

The Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative is offering a second round of $10,000, zero-interest loans to help small businesses in certain parts of the city recover from COVID-19 pandemic impacts. The nonprofit gives preference to Black-owned businesses located along the Atlanta BeltLine overlay district and in the city’s Northwest, Southwest and Southeast areas. The loans from the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund can be used for overhead, operating expenses and up to three months of technical assistance. The loans have a six-month grace period, then a 30-month repayment period. Among the basic eligibility requirements are that the business have been...

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Latin American Association to hold virtual fundraiser ball Dec. 3

The Latin American Association’s “Latin Fever Ball” fundraiser will be held virtually this year on Dec. 3. The 32nd annual fundraiser is scheduled for 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The gala is the biggest fundraiser for the Brookhaven-based organization. Typically held as a ball, the 2020 edition is virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mexican-American vocalist Andy Vargas of the band Santana will be headlining the event. “This is an opportunity to help the LAA and have some fun,” said Santiago Marquez, the organization’s CEO. For registration and other information, see the LAA website...

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Fulton County Schools students, staff asked to get COVID-19 test to return to post-Thanksgiving classes

Students and employees of the Fulton County School System have been asked to get a COVID-19 test before returning to classes after the Thanksgiving holiday. Two free testing sites — including one in Sandy Springs — will be available Nov. 29. FCS will switch entirely to universal remote learning on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 to allow time for test results to be delivered, Superintendent Mike Looney told the Fulton Board of Education on Nov. 19. Looney said in the meeting that the school district cannot require testing for all students and employees, but was making the request. FCS...

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Emory and Piedmont healthcare systems join ‘mask up’ pandemic safety campaign

The local Emory Healthcare and Piedmont Healthcare systems are among more than 100 nationwide joining in a campaign to urge mask-wearing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Mask Up” campaign includes national TV and newspaper ads and the website everymaskup.com. The campaign comes amid rising national and local cases and concerns that Thanksgiving gatherings will spread the disease. “The next several months will be critical,” said a press release about the campaign issued by Emory Healthcare. “Though there has been positive news about vaccine development, no one knows when those vaccines will be ready for widespread use. In the...

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Nov. 20 Atlanta/Sandy Springs COVID-19 report: 289 more diagnoses; 14-day trend rises

The cities of Atlanta and Sandy Springs together saw 289 new COVID-19 diagnoses between Nov. 17 and Nov. 20 update reports from the Fulton County Board of Health. The number of cases increased in all of the main local ZIP codes. The 14-day trend rose significantly in both cities and in all of the ZIP codes. As of Nov. 20, the part of Atlanta within Fulton County had 15,556 COVID-19 diagnoses, up from 15,312 on Nov. 17. Sandy Springs had 3,328 diagnoses, up from 3,283. Atlanta remained the number one city in the county for COVID-19 diagnoses at 44.9%...

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Sandy Springs gives nonprofits another $630K to help pandemic-hit residents with rent, education

Three nonprofit agencies that provide services to Sandy Springs residents affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 will get another $630,769 in federal relief funds with the City Council’s approval on Nov. 17. Madalyn Smith, a Community Development planner for the city, told the council that the money supplements a first round of Community Development Block Grant funds received in the spring. The new funding also will be awarded to local nonprofits to assist Sandy Springs citizens who are low- to moderate-income. Funds will go toward continued educational programming, food and rental assistance. The money also will support new...

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Fulton County Schools parents to choose between in-person, remote learning for second semester

Parents of students in the Fulton County School System will get one chance to decide if their children will attend classes face-to-face or through universal remote learning for the second semester. The choice parents make during the second-semester commitment survey will last for nine weeks, Chief Academic Officer Cliff Jones said at a Nov. 19 Fulton Board of Education meeting. The survey is posted on the FCS website and will be available through Dec. 14. If parents don’t complete the survey, their children’s learning will default to how they are enrolled on Dec. 14 for the end of the...

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Light Up Brookhaven holiday celebration to include tree-lighting and yard decoration contest

It may only be virtual, but city officials promise this year’s Light Up Brookhaven holiday celebration is going to be different but fun with a tree lighting and yard decoration contest. “The holidays are for children and we are determined not to let the pandemic Grinch steal that away, especially from them,” said Mayor John Ernst in a press release. “Challenges throughout the year may have tested our resolve, but they have also made all of us look for creative ways to accomplish our goals.” Virtual because of COVID-19 concerns, Light Up Brookhaven has been reshaped into a series...

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Sandy Springs funds $1.2M in small business COVID-19 relief grants

The Sandy Springs City Council has approved a program to offer $1.2 million in grants to businesses with fewer than 100 employees for COVID-19 relief. The funds became available after the city was reimbursed $4.56 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds from Fulton County. Insead of putting the reimbursement back in the General Fund, City Council on Nov. 17 made a budget amendment for the Small Business Relief Grant program. The city set three tiers of support for small businesses, starting with a single employee ($5,000), 2-10 employees ($10,000) and 11-99 employees ($15,000),...

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Atlanta mayor announces ‘top-to-bottom’ review of police department; discusses crime, COVID-19

The Atlanta Police Department will undergo an 18-month, “top-to-bottom” review for possible reforms, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced in a Nov. 18 press conference, where she also discussed crime, Thanksgiving COVID-19 safety and other issues. In some other hot topics, Bottoms partly blamed shootings in the city on Gov. Brian Kemp’s pandemic business reopening policies, and indicated she is open to considering a position in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration but has not received an offer. The review of APD’s policies, procedures and training will be conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum, an advisory organization based in Washington, D.C.,...

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