Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced on Thursday a five-phase plan for opening the city. The announcement comes about a month after the mayor created an advisory council to help her plan the city’s eventual reopening.
The plan does not have any dates for when certain phases will be initiated. The progression from phase to phase will be based on milestone metrics and recent data, according to a press release from the city.
The city is currently under Phase One: Stay at Home, which means that all Atlantans are advised to continue following the social distancing guidelines that are in place.
Based on the mayor’s plan, the city will need to show a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and a percentage of positive COVID-19 tests before phase two starts. Also, hospitals and critical care capacity remain above 50%.
The city created a dashboard for these metrics, and Bottoms is optimistic that the city can enter Phase Two by next week.
“If new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue along the current downward trend, we could shift from the current Stay at Home Phase One and into Phase Two next week,” the statement said.
Phase Two will continue to have the social distancing guidelines from phase one but will allow private gatherings of up to 10 people. Retail establishments will be allowed to offer to-go and curbside pickup orders. City hall will continue to remain closed in Phase Two.
Phase Three will allow for limited trips to be taken outside but advises vulnerable population to continue to stay at home. Food and retail establishments can offer limited occupancy at their establishments to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
Workers who cannot complete their work at home will be allowed to return to work. Small gatherings in public will be allowed with proper social distancing guidelines.
Phase Four will increase occupancy in retail establishments and dine-in eating at restaurants. Non-essential workers will be allowed to return to public work spaces.
Public gatherings will be permitted at a “medium” scale. The specific number of people allowed is not available in the plan. Some non-essential city facilities and programs will also reopen.
The city will consult with public health and childcare representatives before they decide to move on to phases three or four.
Phase Five, the “New Normal,” will allow for larger gatherings and live events if social distancing and proper safety precautions are observed. All city facilities will reopen and will be cleaned routinely.
Full details of the plan can be found here.