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Dr. Zachary Cohen says his first coronavirus symtpom was a scratchy throat.

The 34-year-old double board-certified physician said he started feeling ill Friday, March 13. It was one day after health officials announced the first death in Georgia from COVID-19: a 67-year-old man succumbed at WellStar Kennestone Hospital five days after being diagnosed.


Whitefoord Clinics / Facebook

Whitefoord Inc. is opening a screening hotline and coronavirus testing site near Grant Park in southeast Atlanta.

The company has a history of running school clinics in Fulton County, as well as a family health clinic in Kirkwood. 

Those who believe they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, which Whitefoord lists as "a fever over 99.6 degrees, cough, sudden lost sense of taste or smell or shortness of breath" can call its hotline at (470) 427-2634 ext. 123.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
Stephen Fowler / GPB News

Atlanta's hospitals could reach capacity by May 3 if the current rate of coronavirus infection continues,  Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Monday. 

The Atlanta mayor spoke on a public online conference call from her home where she is self-quarantining with her husband and four children.


  • Group Of Mayors Call For Statewide Stay At Home Order
  • Albany Continues To Be Largest Hotspot For Coronavirus Cases In Georgia
  • State House Speaker Ralston Continues To Push For State's Primary To Be Delayed


Courtesy Ryan Casey

A Marietta paper supply company is pivoting its business in order to provide respirator masks for those who need them.

By the time people most at risk for serious side effects from COVID-19 knew about the disease, protective masks were sold out everywhere.

So Ryan Casey, who owns Safety Connexion, decided to add KN95 masks to his regular orders for paper products. 

"The N95 is kind of the gold standard with the [National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health] label on it like the 3M brand," Casey said. "The KN95, to be perfectly honest, is comparable to it. You just don't have as many of these certifications and recognition as the other."

The difference between the KN95 and N95 masks has to do with certifications and where the masks are made. Legitimate masks and manufacturers are regulated by NIOSH — the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


Monday on Political Rewind, we’re joined by Mayor Bo Dorough of Albany, to discuss the ongoing public health crisis from the perspective of his town in Dougherty county.

Over the weekend, reports showed Albany had the fourth-highest rate of infection per capita among cities in the world. Hospital officials there said Sunday they received 125 positive coronavirus test results in just 24 hours.


GPB News

Georgia Public Broadcasting’s new series What You Need To Know: Coronavirus provides succinct, fact-based information to help you get through the coronavirus pandemic with your health and sanity intact. 

Georgia's Attorney General, Chris Carr, spoke with Rickey Bevington, host of GPB's All Things Considered, about scams amid the coronavirus outbreak and steps residents can take to ensure they are protected.

Last week, the On Second Thought team pulled together a list of some of our favorite interviews from our archives.

And as COVID-19 headlines continue to top the news, we wanted to share another list of thoughtful, non-coronavirus conversations to take your mind off any fears and anxieties regarding the pandemic. Until the virus’ spread slows down, we’ll be dropping a list like this one at the start of every week.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources will now begin enforcing social distancing at state parks and on lakes after reports of weekend parties large in scale and close in proximity.

Meanwhile, a Facebook post from a top aide to the governor decried “overreach” by cities and counties ordering tougher restrictions – the very same restrictions Gov. Brian Kemp encouraged local leaders to take.

This type of incongruous messaging has led to further calls for Kemp to issue a statewide edict to keep people indoors as cases of coronavirus continue to spread across the state.

As of 7 p.m. Monday, March 30, there are 3,032 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in over 120 of Georgia’s 159 counties with 102 reported deaths. Over 13,000 tests have been performed by state and commercial labs. The state also says 772 people have been hospitalized so far.

Here is the latest coronavirus news from Georgia for Monday, March 30, 2020.

John Amis / AP

Former President Jimmy Carter doesn’t want your money.

In a press release sent from the Carter Center, the former president urged donors to redirect their donations to organizations who are on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus crisis.

Grant Blankenship / GPB News

This map presents coronavirus infections and deaths from COVID-19, adjusted for a per capita rate of incidents per 100,000 people.

Click the icon at the top left of the map to reveal the map legend. This map was last updated at 7pm, March 30, 2020.

View larger map

Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, a leader in America's civil rights movement, died on Friday at the age of 98.

Atlanta's Cascade United Methodist Church, where Lowery once pastored, held a digital service on Sunday to celebrate his life.


Furkids

As coronavirus spreads across the U.S., some nonprofits are being forced to make difficult decisions as demand for services increase and revenue from contributions plummet.

The unique combination of an economic downfall along with restrictions and social distancing protocols the country is experiencing to slow the spread of COVID-19 is creating a snowball effect, devastating nonprofits according to National Council of Nonprofits Spokesperson Rick Cohen. 

Georgia residents are growing more concerned as parks and recreation areas across the state remain crowded despite government orders to practice social distancing. And Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than 30 years, warns deaths from COVID-19 could top 100,000 in the United States.

Here is the latest coronavirus news from Georgia for Sunday, March 28, 2020.

Zoo Atlanta / Facebook

Zoo Atlanta has been closed since March 14 due to coronavirus, but the pandas are on full display on their Panda Cam.

“We know the pandas bring you joy, and in these extraordinary times, we’re glad,” Zoo Atlanta wrote on its website.

Pandas will eat bamboo, lounge on wood structures and even play with each other in the enclosures. 

Lee State Prison in a 2017 photo. Courtesy of The Albany Herald.
Courtesy of The Albany Herald.

The first death of an infant from COVID-19 was reported Saturday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Only 1% of Georgia cases involve people age 17 and younger.

“There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant," IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. "A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death. We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us.”

COVID-19 spreads through Georgia Correctional Facilities

A 49-year-old Lee State Prison inmate who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 died at a hospital in Albany, officials with the Department of Corrections said Friday.

While it is unknown exactly how the virus made its way to the prison, Lee State Prison is near one of Georgia’s coronavirus “hotspots” in  Albany, where hospital systems have been overwhelmed with cases and deaths related to COVID-19.

 

MORE: Albany Mayor Bo Dorough Addresses The Coronavirus Outbreak In Southwest Georgia

 

 

Here is the latest coronavirus news from Georgia for Saturday, March 28, 2020.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a civil rights leader who helped the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has died at 98.

Jade Abdul-Malik / GPB News

I was barely in high school when I saw the trailer for Contagion. My family and I were at the Starlight Drive-In watching a movie I wish I can remember. The only thing I can recall from that night was Gwenyth Paltrow convulsing on the floor and the quick reveal of several people who fell sick from a deadly pathogen. 

I’ll never forget the panic attack that followed. With a wet face and snotty nose, my breath hitched as I tried to explain to my parents how afraid I felt. I don’t want to get sick and die. I don’t want you to get sick and die. I don’t want to see anyone get sick and die.

Augusta University

Students at the Medical College of Georgia are starting a new course Monday on pandemic medicine. 


Liz Fabian

Two Wesleyan College students from China are seeing the worst and best of human behavior amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The young women were out shopping at a local store when they were singled out and harassed.

GPB News

Georgia Public Broadcasting’s new series What You Need To Know: Coronavirus provides succinct, fact-based information to help you get through the coronavirus pandemic with your health and sanity intact. 

Atlanta Beltline CEO Clyde Higgs speaks with GPB's All Things Considered host Rickey Bevington about best practices to stay safe if you must go out to locations like the BeltLine and other outdoor green spaces.

Dani Andujo, Love Beyond Walls

As the coronavirus pandemic has hit Georgia, many nonprofits and community organizations have had to reevaluate how to best support vulnerable populations through the outbreak.

One such organization is Love Beyond Walls, which focuses on supporting the homeless population in metro Atlanta throughout the year. But with the growing threat of coronavirus, Terrence Lester, founder and executive director of the nonprofit, had to quickly pull together a plan to address new and critical needs in the communities they serve. 


  • House Speaker Ralston Says Statewide Lockdown Needed To Prevent Spread of COVID-19
  • Georgia National Guard Deployed To Support Medical Staff
  • Albany Hospital At Center Of Coronavirus Outbreak At Capacity


Photo by Glenny Brown

Chase and Ellen Brown were set to get married Saturday, March 28 in Savannah. But then, the rapid spread of the coronavirus across Georgia and the nation threatened to jeopardize their nuptials. 

The big day they had been planning since last April was quickly looking less likely to happen.


John Bazemore / AP

State House  Speaker David Ralston joined our panel to discuss the latest news surrounding coronavirus in Georgia, including his recent request to postpone the May 19 primary elections in order to avoid potential disruption of voting Friday on Political Rewind.

We spoke about how the shutdown of many businesses and a steep decline in revenues could impact the state budget.


Atlanta Opera costume shop employees begin making masks for healthcare workers.
The Atlanta Opera

Performances may have been canceled, but the Atlanta arts community isn’t sitting idly at home during the pandemic. 

 

The Atlanta Opera and the Alliance Theatre have both started using their unique resources and talents to make face masks for local healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus. 

Photo by Emilia Brock

A few weeks ago, screen time was blamed for keeping us apart. Now that millions of people are sequestered in our homes, our screens are bringing us together. Americans are finding new ways to find connection, community and relief from home.

Two Atlanta-based arts critics and writers, Jason Evans and Kelundra Smith, joined On Second Thought to share some reflections on the new age of streaming amid coronavirus, and recommendations of what to do for "quarantainment."


While online scams are always a danger, malware attacks and phishing schemes have found a new opportunity with coronavirus. Millions of Americans are now working and learning from home, without the protections — or IT help — found in most offices and schools. And in some countries, the virus has upped the ante on government surveillance of online activity. Alfred Ng, senior reporter at CNET News, and Brendan Saltaformaggio, assistant professor at Georgia Tech, talk about the concerns around data privacy and security that have developed alongside the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

 


John Minchillo / AP Photo

While online scams are always a danger, malware and phishing attacks have skyrocketed in the past two weeks. Many of these schemes have found new opportunities through the growing fear and concern over coronavirus. And now, millions of Americans are working and learning from home to help halt the spread of the disease — and find themselves without the protections (or IT help) found in most offices and schools. 

And in some countries, the virus has upped the ante on government surveillance of online activity. 


Georgia Statewide Town Hall

In an unprecedented statewide televised town hall Thursday, Gov. Brian Kemp explained his rationale for holding off on a statewide lockdown while urging Georgians to stay at home and follow social distancing guidelines to stop the virus’ spread.

Meanwhile, an outbreak in southwest Georgia is straining the community’s health care system and accounts for 10% of cases and 20% of deaths in the state.

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