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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.
Governor Brian Kemp, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) on Friday started “urging” all Georgians to wear a face-covering in public settings.
The ask to wear face coverings is in addition to social distancing and frequent hand washing, and arrives on the heels of the expiration of Kemp’s shelter-in-place, and as many businesses have started to reopen including salons, barbershops, ax-chucking facilities, and restaurant dining rooms.
Cases are still on the rise in the state.
“A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people are in a community setting where social distancing may be difficult, such as in the grocery store, picking up food at a restaurant, or riding public transportation and especially in areas of widespread community transmission of COVID-19,” according to a press release from the Governor’s office Friday.
“Cloth face coverings help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may be infected and not know it from transmitting it to others.”
While it’s not mandated for Georgians to wear face coverings, some Atlanta businesses, like Hodgepodge Coffeehouse are requiring that customers do so, even when coming in solely for takeout.
“When you walk into either of our locations you will be greeted with hand sanitizer and disposable masks on a table by the door,” the coffee shop Thursday announced on its Facebook page.
“Please use the hand sanitizer, pick up a mask by the elastic, and put it on. Each and every person in our four walls must have their nose and mouth covered for the duration of their entire visit, children included. Please understand this extra step is for the health and safety of EVERYONE. Bonus, you’ve got your latte and now you have a mask you can use for the rest of the day.”
Hodgepodge has elected to keep its dining room closed “until the C.D.C. says it’s safe,” despite the green-light from Kemp to reopen.
[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.]