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Atlanta Mayor limits public gatherings to 50 people to curb coronavirus spread

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Atlanta Mayor limits public gatherings to 50 people to curb coronavirus spread

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Image obtained via Atlantaga.gov
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Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued an executive order prohibiting public gatherings and events of 50 or more persons within the city of Atlanta until March 31.

“We know that we need to take active measures to flatten the curve,” Bottoms said in a press release. “This is an unprecedented health crisis and social distancing is critical. We are following the latest CDC guidance and we will continue to follow the recommendations of our public health experts.”

The order applies to restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, clubs and other public places. It does not include hospital cafeterias and nursing homes.

“I very much welcome the Mayor’s decision to decrease the number of people at public gatherings to be consistent with the most recent CDC recommendations,” said Emory Professor of Medicine and Global Health Carlos del Rio said. “This is a good measure and I recommend everyone practice it. Today is 50, but tomorrow could be less. I am very happy to see the Mayor rapidly take the CDC guidance and urge people to take it seriously.”

Bottoms also signed an order to temporarily stop the Atlanta Police Department and Department of Parks and Recreation from taking new applications for permits and special events.

Other orders Bottoms has issued include:

– An Administrative Order directing the Commissioner of Watershed Management to refrain from taking any action which would result in the termination of water services for any Watershed Management customer due to non-payment for the next sixty (60) days.

– An Order for the Centers of Hope Afterschool program to continue to provide free meals to all students who rely on them throughout the closure of schools. A list of schools and more information can be found here.

– Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

– Stay home when you are sick.

– Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.

– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The DeKalb County Board of Health is encouraging people not to buy facemasks.

“Surgical masks should be reserved for people who exhibit symptoms (to prevent them from spreading the virus through respiratory secretions such as saliva or mucus) and healthcare professionals who are taking care of sick people,” the DeKalb County Board of Health says. “Regular surgical face masks are not effective in protecting against the coronavirus, according to the CDC. A more specialized face mask known as N95 respirators are thicker than surgical masks and are fitted to a person’s face to keep out any viral particles.”

For more information from the Centers for Disease Control, click here.

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