Georgia started the process of reopening its economy on April 24, something Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was firmly against. The mayor warned of more covid-19 deaths if the state opened back up too soon. It seems she was right.
On the same day that Gov. Brian Kemp lifted Georgia’s stay-at-home order for most residents, Georgia confirmed that its covid-19 cases increased by 1,165 within 24 hours, according to figures posted by the Georgia Department of Health, Savannah Now reported.
Georgia’s total number of cases has increased to nearly 30,000, according to Worldometer.
Black people are experiencing the highest number of covid-19 illnesses in the state, especially in Atlanta. Eighty percent of coronavirus patients hospitalized in seven Atlanta hospitals surveyed in March were Black patients, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study. African Americans in Georgia are hospitalized for covid-19 at substantially higher rates than their white counterparts, according to the CDC.
Atlanta is the second largest majority African-American metro area in the U.S. The Black population was 61.4 percent in 2000 and 54 percent in 2010 as African Americans in the city moved to the suburbs.
New infections continue to climb by the hundreds daily in metro Atlanta, Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. As of (May2), there are at least 2,850 cases of the virus in Fulton County, 2,051 in DeKalb, 1,829 in Gwinnett, 1,664 in Cobb, 1,379 in Hall, 720 in Clayton, 492 in Henry, 477 in Cherokee, 371 in Carroll, 324 in Douglas, 318 in Bartow, 304 in Forsyth, 198 in Newton, 191 in Rockdale and 189 in Paulding.
African Americans make up more than 36 percent of overall confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia, according to the state’s health department — slightly higher than their 32 percent share of the state population, CBS News reported.
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Kemp allowed hair and nail salons, bowling alleys, gyms, and massage-therapy centers to reopen first. Restaurants and movie theaters were allowed to reopen on April 27, the Daily Mail reported.
Businesses allowed to reopen were informed they could only reopen with “minimum basic operations” and that they should use safety measures including checking staff for temperatures and respiratory illnesses, as well as increasing sanitation efforts, wearing masks and gloves, and continuing to practice social distancing in work stations, Business Insider reported.
Kemp said he is still urging residents to stay home whenever possible, and businesses must continue to operate under strict social distancing guidelines until May 13.