Ways to Connect

  • A Third Of Georgians Confirmed To Have Coronavirus Have Been Hospitalized
  • MARTA To Cut Bus And Rail Service Due To Declining Ridership
  • Georgia Law Students Impacted By Move To Online Classes

How To Keep Your Home Safe Amid COVID-19

Mar 25, 2020
Jessica Gurell

The CDC has released tips to help keep the general public healthy, reduce exposures to COVID-19 and slow the spread of the disease. Creating a household plan can protect your health and the health of those around  you.

CDC Checklist of Household Preparations Against COVID-19

Ping Zhu

The Georgia writer who defined Southern Gothic literature in the stories A Good Man is Hard to Find and The Life You Save May Be Your Own was born 95 years ago today.

Flannery O’Connor turned her keen observation of Southern life into transcendent tales of the human condition. In the biographical children’s story The Strange Birds of Flannery O’Connor, author Amy Alznauer says that at an early age, O’Connor trained her sight on the birds in the backyard of her childhood home in Savannah. As she fancied ever-more exotic birds on the family farm, Andalusia, in Milledgeville, the peacock became a totem for O’Connor’s spiritual search for meaning.

WellStar Health System has built temporary extensions to their emergency departments to handle the growing number of patients coming in with flu-like symptoms.
WellStar Health System

The attorney general’s office is warning Georgians to watch out for scammers and misinformation surrounding coronavirus and announced a new partnership to combat price gouging of essential supplies.

Attorney General Chris Carr said Tuesday his office is working with companies like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Facebook directly to tackle complaints about sellers overcharging for goods or scammers taking advantage of consumers.

Speaking via Skype, Carr said there are a number of ways Georgians can protect themselves from rumors and scammers.

Chris Phan / Wikimedia

Wednesday on Political Rewind, in a move to encourage voting by mail in the May 19 primary, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Tuesday that all active registered voters in Georgia will receive an absentee ballot request form in the mail.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, around 5% of Georgia voters opted to vote by mail In the 2016 and 2018 November elections.

Georgia Department of Public Health

A COVID-19 outbreak in southwest Georgia has one of the highest per capita infection rates in the country as cases continue to rise. State elections officials are making it a little bit easier to minimize coronavirus exposure at the polls in May, and more Georgians are under some sort of restrictions as local governments step up to stop the spread of the virus.

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, there are 1,387 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in more than half of Georgia’s 159 counties with 47 reported deaths. About 6,200 tests have been performed by state and commercial labs. The state also says 438 people are hospitalized, a newly-reported measure of the virus' severity.

Here is the latest coronavirus news from Georgia for Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

Mike Porter / Flickr

Waffle House, one of Georgia's most iconic restaurants, is temporarily shuttering more than 300 locations in multiple states. It's a sign of how bad the coronavirus pandemic is.

While many restaurants recently closed or halted dining room service to slow the spread of coronavirus, Waffle House closures signal desperate times. That's because of something known as the "Waffle House Index."

Owens Family

Leslie Owens will tell you: sewing is not really her thing.

“Full disclosure, I really haven't touched a sewing machine since Home EC in seventh grade,” Owens said. “That was a long time ago.”

But Owens’ home is in Albany, the same city that’s the heart of a southwest Georgia coronavirus outbreak where the per capita infection rate is the highest in Georgia. At the region’s largest hospital,  Phoebe Putney Memorial, the COVID-19 deaths account for about a third of the deaths across the entire state. Medical supplies to keep health care workers safe are running short.

So, lately, Leslie Owens has been brushing up on her middle school sewing skills.


Ashley Rodgers owns and operates an organic farm in Douglasville, Georgia.
Rodgers Greens and Roots

Farmer Ashley Rodgers grows vegetables on her organic farm in Douglasville, but in her 11 years farming she has rarely seen such uncertainty as restaurants closed their doors and farmers markets shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Disruptions amid the coronavirus spread couldn’t have come at a worse time for her small farm, Rodgers Greens and Roots, Rodgers said. 


Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia has cancelled production operations at its huge manufacturing plant in West Point, Ga., for two days due to supply chain issues.

In a statement, KMMG said it had cancelled production operations for March 19 and 20 "due to supply chain issues."

Normal operations were planned to resume Monday, March 23.

  • Conditions In South Georgia Coronavirus Hotspot Worsen
  • Savannah's Mayor Issues State At Home Order
  • Theaters Statewide Close and Postpone Seasons

Wikimedia Commons

Those who work ticket booths, security, food stalls and as ushers at concerts are without work while events are postponed statewide as hundreds of Georgians test positive for the coronavirus. Delta has laid off hundreds of contractors after a number of the Atlanta-based airline's flights were canceled. Plants scattered through the state are among the most recent to announce layoffs and closing.


However, while many of Georgia’s businesses are suffering from mass closures amid the spread of the coronavirus, others are hiring more than ever before, due to the increase in demand at grocery stores, restaurants and pharmacies.

Augusta Health / Facebook Live

Augusta Health is launching a new coronavirus testing facility at Patriots Park in Columbia.

The new site will be a resource for those living in and north of Columbia. Augusta Health Vice President Dr. Philip Coule, CEO Katrina Keefer, and CIO Mallory Myers made the announcement on a Facebook live stream. The hospital cautioned, however, that the testing facility is only available to those who have been referred by a physician using their app.

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. 

Taylor Gantt spoke with Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler about the effect the COVID-19 outbreak is having on Georgia's employment market and how to quickly tap into unemployment benefits if needed.

Bill Gates in 2016.
Seth Wenig / AP

Bill Gates gave a TED Talk in 2015 where he outlined some of the potential concerns for Americans and the rest of the world, warning it wouldn’t be a nuclear war that stopped life as we know it. Eerily, he cautioned the audience about crippling repercussions if — and when — a highly infectious virus spread, it might affect more than 10 million people.

Not missiles, he warned, but rather, microbes.

He claimed the U.S. was not ready for the next big epidemic and with what we're facing as the coronavirus spreads around the world, this is especially relevant.

COVID-19 headlines have dominated the news nationally, on GPB and conversations within On Second Thought. But, there’s a lot more that our show has to offer within its archives that may provide a break from the coronavirus outbreak.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said his office will mail an absentee ballot request application to 6.9 million active registered voters in Georgia for the May 19 primary election, making it easier for people to vote from home as coronavirus spreads.

In a statement, Raffensperger said the move is an extraordinary effort to ensure all Georgians can vote “without fear for their health.”

DXR / Wikimedia

Tuesday on Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp ordered bars and nightclubs to close and restricted gatherings of more than 10 people in his latest effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia. However, he rejected calls to shutter restaurants or to issue a shelter in place order for the state.

And, our panel discussed how the state’s budget and economy being shaped by this public health emergency. 

City of Savannah on Twitter

An enhanced emergency declaration signed by Savannah Mayor Van Johnson Tuesday orders the closing of all nonessential businesses and orders city residents to stay home in an enhanced emergency declaration.

The order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24.

The mayor delayed implementing this order out of deference to Gov. Brian Kemp, who announced new emergency measures Monday evening, Johnson said in a news conference. Kemp's action, Johnson said, did not go far enough.

Nabilah Islam stands with arms crossed
Courtesy of Nabilah Islam

Nabilah Islam doesn't have health insurance and her mother was laid off this week.

Her experience is similar to a lot of other millennials living through the coronavirus outbreak. However, Islam is also running for Congress in Georgia's 7th District.

Facebook/Mayor Girtz

Gov. Brian Kemp announced new statewide restrictions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus Monday.

The order closes bars and nightclubs, bans most gatherings of 10 or more people and requires vulnerable Georgians to stay at home.

Emory doctors have created a website that allows people to assess symptoms of coronavirus.

Stephen Fowler / GPB News

Gov. Brian Kemp is ordering “medically fragile” residents to stay at home while making everyone else keep their distance, but concerns about coronavirus has the city of Atlanta and others taking stronger action.

As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, there are 1,097 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in more than half of Georgia’s 159 counties with 38 reported deaths. About 5,500 tests have been performed by state and commercial labs. The state also says 361 people are hospitalized, a newly-reported measure of the virus' severity.

Here is the latest coronavirus news from Georgia for Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

John Minchillo / AP

A series of missteps at the nation’s top public health agency caused a critical shortage of reliable laboratory tests for the coronavirus, hobbling the federal response as the pandemic spread across the country like wildfire, an Associated Press review found.

Jeremy Polston / Georgia Ports Authority

The Port of Savannah just reported its busiest February on record, up 17% over February 2019, according to new numbers released Monday. 


March will likely be a different story. Officials expect a drop of about 20% compared to last year.


Though traffic is down, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch told the Board of Directors there is still plenty for workers to do.


  • Emory Epidemiologist Says More Testing Is Needed To Stop Spread Of Coronavirus
  • First COVID-19 Case Reported At Fulton County Jail
  • Georgia Supreme Court To Hear Fight Over Seat On Its Own Bench


Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday several statewide restrictions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, ordering "medically fragile" Georgians to shelter in place for two weeks while closing bars and nightclubs and banning most public gatherings over 10 people.

In a Monday briefing, Kemp also empowered the Georgia Department of Public Health to close businesses or nonprofits that violate the order.

Kemp said the shelter in place order becomes effective noon Tuesday through noon Monday, April 6.

Andre Hunter / Unsplash

Ingrid Bilowich is one of several Emory University law students worried how coronavirus will affect their ability to take the bar exam.

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. 

On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott speaks with Dr. Carlos Del Rio, the executive associate dean for Emory University School of Medicine at Grady Health System, about the need for more action to stop coronavirus from spreading. 


We need to flatten the curve to control the coronavirus outbreak, WHO has said repeatedly. 

What is flattening the curve?

In epidemiology, the curve is defined as the projected number of new cases over a period of time, according to the CDC. Through observing a curve, scientists can learn the outbreaks time trend, magnitude of the outbreak, most likely time period of exposure and spread of the illness.