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Ascension Lutheran Church Savannah on Facebook

One of Savannah's historic churches is ringing its bells at 8 p.m. daily in appreciation of health care workers fighting the coronavirus.

Founded in the 18th Century and built in the 19th Century, the Lutheran Church of the Ascension is now part of a global movement to thank the medical community.

GPB's Emily Jones produced this postcard.

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. 

Medical professionals from Atlanta have volunteered to go to New York City as part of an emergency response team where the coronavirus outbreak is the largest in the nation. Cassie Marcelus, a nurse, is part of a team assigned to a hospital in the Bronx. She describes her experience to GPB News reporter Donna Lowry. 

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

Hand-sewn cloth masks could be used by the general population in combating a coronavirus spread, Emory University School of Medicine Executive Associate Dean Dr. Carlos Del Rio said Wednesday in a Facebook Q&A.

This suggestion is a departure from early recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization officials advising against civilians wearing masks. However, as doctors learn more about the coronavirus, recommendations for preventing it are evolving including guidance on masks.

Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

Elected officials at the county and municipal levels are struggling to find ways to respond to an unfolding public health crisis. Where many other states have issued statewide lockdowns, Gov. Brian Kemp has made it clear he wants to allow local leaders to make decisions on this kind of policy for themselves.


As the CDC reconsiders public procedures around mask useage, retailers and grocery stories around Georgia are implementing new policies to protect their customers and employees.


Dr. LaMont Smith still has a lot of friends at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany. It’s one of the places he practiced critical medical care before he retired. 


Coronavirus put retirement on hold, and sent him back to Phoebe Putney for an 80-hour week rotation. And he saw friends, as well as sights that shook him. 

“I saw people who I knew were going to die,” Smith said. 

The Phoebe hospitals spread across southwest Georgia need the help of doctors like Smith. COVID-19 has killed more people at Phoebe Putney than in Cobb County and Fulton County combined. In terms of per capita measures, the region has now joined the ranks of Lombardy, Italy; Wuhan, China, even New York as one of the world’s hotspots for coronavirus infections.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Gov. Brian Kemp will sign a shelter-in-place order Thursday that runs from Friday through April 13.

He also announced a plan to increase COVID-19 testing capacity by 3,000 samples a day using labs across the University System of Georgia and Emory University. Also, there are growing calls from top Republicans to delay the May 19 primary election as the state begins mailing absentee ballot applications to millions of voters.

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, there are 4,748 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in at least 142 of Georgia’s 159 counties with 154 reported deaths. Over 20,000 tests have been performed by state and commercial labs. The state also says 1,013 people have been hospitalized so far.

Here is the latest coronavirus news from Georgia for Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

Sarah Rose / GPB News

Tuesday, March 31, marks the yearly International Transgender Day of Visibility. This year is a little different, however, because it's fairly difficult to be visible when we're all stuck indoors practicing social distancing.

I've been a reporter at Georgia Public Broadcasting now for about seven months. In the time I've been here, I've rushed to the scene of a plane crash, reported on meteor showers and spoken to community leaders I watched on television as a child. This job comes with the privilege of getting to know communities across Georgia in a deeply profound way.

  • Testing For COVID-19 In Georgia To Ramp Up
  • Emory University Seeking Clinical Trial Participants For COVID-19 Vaccine 
  • Chatham County To Begin Screening Visitors For Coronavirus Symptoms
  • Tributes Continue For Late Civil Rights Icon Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery

Wendy Wynne

Lions and tigers and bears... or COVID-19, oh my!

Neighbors in Roswell practiced social-distancing and rallied together to create a makeshift, stuffed animal zoo for the neighborhood children. Families took a wild excursion through their front yards and porches to find exotic animals hanging out among their friends. These animals were stuffed and offered no immediate threat or danger to the public, neighbors were assured.

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. 

Virginia Prescott spoke with state fiscal economist Jeffrey Dorfman about the CARES Act and how it will affect Georgians.

Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

Tuesday on Political Rewind, the U.S. 2020 Census represents a huge undertaking with significant consequences for funding and democratic representation across the country.

And now, the Census faces additional challenges from an ongoing worldwide public health crisis. We discussed the latest on the census with our panel.

Ariel Schalit / AP

Georgia now has more than 100 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 and over 3,000 confirmed cases as we approach the end of March. Meanwhile, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms warns the city’s hospitals could be over capacity by the first week of May.

As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, there are 4,117 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in nearly 140 of Georgia’s 159 counties with 125 reported deaths. Over 16,000 tests have been performed by state and commercial labs. The state also says 885 people have been hospitalized so far.

Here is the latest coronavirus news from Georgia for Tuesday, March 31, 2020.


Atlanta's Emory University is enrolling participants for the nation's first clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Emory's Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit is testing "mRNA-1273," which was developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Moderna Incorporated. Phase I of the study began March 16 at the VTEU at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.

The trial hopes to recruit 45 people between the two locations. Participants must be adults in the Atlanta area age 18 to 55. To be eligible, they can’t have chronic diseases or health conditions that affect the immune system, and they can’t be taking immunosuppressive medications.


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.

  • 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.

Naman Patel

Cheering and honking their car horns, hundreds of people filled the evening air with appreciation for local healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus battle at the Newnan Piedmont Hospital, as has happened many nights in cities worldwide.


More than 200 cars filled almost every parking spot in the lot. Some had hazard lights cutting through the evening light, others had music blaring and there were even more supportive messages written on signs.

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.

Read the full article on

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. Use the search box to find places on the map. Click inside the bubble in the location for details. This map was last updated at 7pm., April 7, 2020.

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.


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.