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In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Wednesday announced that the City has “met the metrics” to progress from Phase I (“Stay at Home”) to Phase II (“Easing”) of the City’s five-phased reopening plan, drawn from the recommendations of the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Reopening Atlanta.
The City’s reopening plan is superseded by that of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp who by May 31 will have completely allowed all businesses to reopen.
“As of May 24, 2020, Atlanta sustained the necessary 14-day downward trend in COVID-19 new cases, hospitalizations, and percent of positive test cases while maintaining sufficient hospital and critical care bed capacity to progress into Phase II, the ‘Easing’ phase,” according to Wednesday’s announcement.
“This phase does not include reopening the City of Atlanta government facilities.”
Starting Thursday, May 28, the City will begin bi-weekly reporting on progress towards meeting the Phase II “gate-keeping metrics” and each report will be posted on the ATLstrong.org website.
“As we continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19, we are now prioritizing a safe transition into Phase II of our reopening plan,” Bottoms said.
“Data shows that we are in a position to move forward. We encourage Atlantans citywide to continue to follow all precautionary guidelines as community transmission of COVID-19 still poses a threat to our city. As One Atlanta, we will continue to examine data developments and keep the necessities of cautiousness and vigilance at the forefront of our decision-making for the well-being of all those that call Atlanta home.”
During Phase II—the “Easing” phase—the City proposed the following guidelines:
Individuals:Stay home except for essential trips
Wear face coverings in public
Frequent hand washing
Small, private gatherings of no more than 10 people, with social distancing
Businesses/Non-Profits:To-go and curbside pickups from restaurants and retail establishments
Continue practicing teleworking
Frequent cleaning of public and high touch areas
City Government:Non-essential City facilities remain closed
Continue moratorium on special event applications
Continue communication with local and State authorities to monitor public health metrics
“In order to leave Phase II, two critical gate-keeping measures have been added for contact tracing and testing capacity,” according to the announcement.
“The City of Atlanta will continue to Phase III after reaching and sustaining Phase II metrics. If there is a sustained increase in new COVID-19 cases or hospital or critical care capacity falls below 50 percent, the City will revert back to Phase 1.”
[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]