As virus spreads in Georgia, a few go home from quarantine
ATLANTA (AP) — Some people exposed to coronavirus are going home in Georgia even as cases of COVID-19 continue to grow. The Georgia Public Health Department reported 99 cases at noon Sunday, up from 66 on Saturday. The only patient who was isolated at a quarantine site told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that he was being sent home from Hard Labor Creek State Park near Rutledge. Some of the nearly 500 people quarantined at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta after getting off the Grand Princess cruise ship were also going home Sunday. Cases continue to be reported among people who may have had contact with many others.
Worshippers go online, those at services keep a distance
ATLANTA (AP) — Pastors across the United States delivered sermons to empty pews as houses of worship adjust to the reality of the coronavirus pandemic. Many religious institutions around the country are streaming their services this week, while others asked congregations to keep their distances and limit physical contact. Religious institutions worldwide are altering worship, including the Vatican, which says Holy Week liturgical celebrations next month will not be open to the public. Spain is following suit on its measures and the Orthodox Church of Cyprus says believers should refrain from attending services for three weeks.
Georgia primaries postponed due to virus fears; cases jump
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia election officials are postponing the state’s March 24 presidential primaries until May because of fears over the coronavirus. Georgia's secretary of state said that in-person early voting will be halted and the election will be moved to May 19, when Georgia’s other 2020 primary elections are being held. The action followed Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature of an emergency declaration that unlocked sweeping powers to fight COVID-19. Kemp says the number of cases caused by the new coronavirus rose to 66 Saturday from 42 on Friday. He also authorized the deployment of as many as 2,000 Georgia National Guard troops to help address the crisis.
After floods, soggy south Georgia fears spread of mosquitoes
ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — Soggy areas of south Georgia recovering from heavy rains and flooding are bracing for a new threat _ swarms of mosquitoes. WALB-TV reports mosquito control officers in Dougherty County are doing what they can to fight the blood-sucking bugs. Donell Mathis, the county environmental control manager, said his team is dropping briquettes into standing water that keep mosquito eggs from hatching. But they can only do that on public property. Mathis said homeowners need to take charge around their own houses and dump any standing water in buckets, birdbaths, old tires and other places that can serve as mosquito nurseries. Georgia's mosquito season typically starts in March and can stretch into the summer.
GEORGIA TECH STUDENT KILLED
Georgia Tech officer who killed student won't face charges
ATLANTA (AP) — A district attorney announced that a Georgia Tech police officer who fatally shot a student struggling with depression won't face criminal charges. Officer Tyler Beck killed fourth-year student Scout Schultz in Sept. 2017 after Schultz refused to drop his weapon. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard on Friday said Beck won't be charged in Schultz's death. Schultz called police and said an armed man was walking around the dorms. When police arrived, they found Schultz with a weapon. He heckled officers and didn't comply with their requests. Beck later shot Schultz. Investigators found several suicide notes. Schultz's parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit stating Beck used excessive force.
Attorney: Georgia followed law in canceling court election
ATLANTA (AP) — An attorney says Georgia’s top elections official followed state law when he canceled a May election to the state Supreme Court in order to allow the governor to appoint a replacement for a sitting justice who won't leave office until November. Attorney Russ Willard said in court Friday that Georgia law says a vacancy is created as soon as the governor accepts a resignation. Two former lawmakers filed lawsuits after they tried to qualify to run for the seat of Justice Keith Blackwell on the Georgia Supreme Court last week but were told the election was canceled.
States turn to cash reserves as coronavirus strains budgets
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (AP) — State across the U.S. are allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to respond to the new coronavirus, even as the U.S. government prepares to send billions of more dollars their way. Trump announced Friday that he would free up as much as $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak. But many states already have taken steps to pitch in their own money. Some are pulling money out of their rainy day funds for emergency expenses. Others are looking to place more in reserves in case the economic uncertainty caused by the new coronavirus leads to a downturn in state tax revenues.
Georgia 2nd state to postpone pres. primaries over virus