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n 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 Thursday told Atlanta City Council “we’ll stay in Phase II [Easing] for the foreseeable future” of the City’s five-phased reopening plan, drawn from the recommendations of the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Reopening Atlanta. Bottoms moved the City into Phase II in late-May.
The City’s reopening plan is superseded by that of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp who as of June 1 has allowed nearly all of the state’s businesses to reopen. Kemp this week has been flying around Georgia “urging” its citizens to wear masks but is not mandating that they do so.
Savannah’s mayor in defiance of Kemp is requiring its citizens to wear masks, something Mayor Bottoms is watching closely, she said. Savannah’s order is likely not enforceable which is why Bottoms has not yet issued a similar mandate in Atlanta.
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 an announcement made when the City first entered Phase II in May.
“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.]