Atlanta mayor announces 14-day stay at home order

ATLANTA — With cases hitting closer to home for many of us, Atlanta city leaders say it’s time to take drastic measures to fight the novel coronavirus.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Monday night that she has signed 14-day stay at home order for the city of Atlanta.

"Given our population density, high rate of asthma, and various underlying health conditions found within our city’s populations, I am issuing a Stay at Home Order for Atlantans,” Bottoms said in a news release.

The order says all city residents are being directed to stay home except for essential services, essential activities, work or for government services.

“Until we flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, the city must exercise every reasonable power to slow the spread of this virus,” Bottoms said.

As of right now, the order does not include essential businesses, parks, the Atlanta BeltLine and restaurants serving takeout.

The order also directs all businesses to cease non-essential operation at physical locations with the city limits.

Bottoms wants people to know they can still go to grocery stores, which are being advised to wipe down and sanitize carts.

Bottoms said drastic measures need to be taken to reduce public interaction with one another.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston spoke with Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore, who is calling for a statewide shelter in place.

“I believe we need to have more aggressive measures,” Moore told Huddleston in a phone interview Monday. “As contagious as this virus is ... we’re (not) going to be able to stem the tide of it without taking more drastic measures.”

[Atlanta mayor allows restaurants to temporarily serve alcohol to-go]

Moore said an 11-minute YouTube video from a Grady Memorial Hospital doctor made her call for the shutdown.

“She talks about the conditions in the hospital and the lack of resources, the lack of equipment,” Moore said.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Latest on coronavirus in Georgia and around the world]

Moore is self-isolating right now after being exposed to someone who had coronavirus at a recent conference.

“I have no symptoms and I’m doing just fine. Wednesday will be my last day,” Moore said. “I just hope that we are getting aggressive because I think time is running out for us to keep this from getting out of hand.”

[800 confirmed coronavirus cases, 26 deaths in Georgia]

Bottoms said the city is working with the Department of Procurement to provide emergency food assistance for senior citizens. Seniors can call the Office of Constituent Service or call 311 for help.

Workers with Invest Atlanta are helping with emergency small business loans. Bottoms said the loans will range from $500 to $30,000. She said they’re still working on developing concrete parameters.

The mayor said the city will provide emergency rental assistance and issue an order to stay evictions for a period of time, although she did not specify when this will happen.