CORONAVIRUS IN GEORGIA: What’s happening today - March 23, 2020

Coronavirus: What is social distancing?

Here’s a roundup of what’s happening so far today, March 23: (Click here for the previous day)

We’ll bring you LIVE updates every hour on Channel 2 Action News. Get extended coverage on the free WSB Now app on Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV.

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

Content Continues Below
  • Today’s 7 p.m. update shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia is now 800 with 26 deaths.
  • “Today’s significant increase in cases is in part reflective of improvement in electronic reporting efficiency from commercial laboratories,” the Georgia Department of Public Health said. “These reports often have sparse patient data and DPH will be working to complete these records, so data will change over time.”
  • Publix says an employee at the store location in the Cruse Marketplace, 1735 Buford Highway, in Cumming, has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • “Following our disinfection protocol and with the support of the public health department, the store is operating normal business hours. We are thinking of our associate and their family during this time and wishing them a swift recovery,” said Maria Brous, Publix Director of Communications.
  • The Georgia Department of Public Health has informed Publix that store customers are considered to be at low risk of exposure and the products sold at the store do not represent a risk to customers.
  • Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Monday night that she has signed 14-day stay at home order for the city of Atlanta.
  • APS announced Monday night that schools will remain closed at least through Monday, April 13 and possibly beyond in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday that people applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has gone up dramatically since the start of coronavirus outbreak across the state.
  • In a news conference, President Donald Trump says his administration is working with Democrats to pass a relief bill for small businesses and people out of work.
  • Trump: “If you had viable business in January and we’re committed to make it that again soon,” Trump said. “A lot sooner than 3 or 4 months that somebody was suggesting. We’re not going to let the cure be worse than the problem.”
  • FEMA is distributing 8 million N-95 face masks, 13 million other face masks.
  • President Trump has signed executive orders to help prevent hoarding of medical supplies and price gouging.
  • 23 coronavirus testing sites have been set up on Georgia for people referred by a doctor. They are in Cartersville, Rome, Dalton, Woodstock, Gainesville, Marietta, Atlanta, Morrow, Lawrenceville, Stone Mountain, Newnan, Dublin, Warner Robins, Augusta, Columbus, Valdosta, Tifton, Albany, Douglas, Statesboro, Brunswick, Savannah and Athens.
  • 20 emergency housing units have been constructed at the state’s public safety training facility in Forsyth.
  • The Georgia secretary of state delayed registration and registration fees for Georgia corporations. He’s directing the 40 different licensing boards that report to the secretary of state to find ways to streamline requirements or red tape during the emergency.
  • DeKalb Parks has temporarily closed the Sugar Creek Golf and Tennis Center, the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center, and playgrounds and fitness stations. All year-round recreation programming, rentals, group gatherings and organized athletic events have been suspended until further notice.
  • Georgia Kroger stores will designate a senior shopping hour staring Monday from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.
  • The City of East Point passed stricter restrictions on restaurants, bars and businesses, which will start Monday.
  • A third and fourth Georgia state senator tested positive for coronavirus Sunday.
  • A Fulton County Jail inmate has tested positive for COVID-19. Officials said the man in his 30s is currently hospitalized and had been undergoing treatment for a chronic illness.
  • DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond issued a state of emergency that will enact a voluntary curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Restaurants will only be allowed to do take out and can sell alcohol with those orders.
  • Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is extending the time for Georgia corporations to file their annual registration. The registration period will now extend until May. 1.
  • Kennesaw State University announced they will no require SAT or ACT test scores for anyone applying for the summer or fall semester.