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Atlanta can enter Phase 2 of reopening plan, mayor announces

The first of five phases in the plan, Phase 1 was considered the continuing "Stay at Home," stage, while Phase 2 is considered the "Easing" stage.

ATLANTA — Atlanta is ready to enter Phase 2 of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' reopening plan, the mayor's office announced on Wednesday.

The first of five phases in the plan, Phase 1 was considered the continuing "Stay at Home," stage, while Phase 2 is considered the "Easing" stage.

In a release, the mayor's office said the city had "met the metrics to progress" from Phase 1 to Phase 2. The city outlines some of those metrics on its reopening dashboard.

The release laid out the following Phase 2 guidelines:

Individuals:

  • Stay home except for essential trips
  • Wear face coverings in public
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Social distancing
  • Small, private gatherings of no more than 10 people, with social distancing

Businesses/Non-Profits:

  • To-go and curbside pickups from restaurants and retail establishments
  • Continue practicing teleworking
  • Frequent cleaning of public and high touch areas

City Government:

  • Non-essential City facilities remain closed
  • Continue moratorium on special event applications
  • Continue communication with local and State authorities to monitor public health metrics

As a matter of enforcement, the mayor's plan cannot legally supersede anything Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered, so it's not clear how strictly restaurants, for instance, must adhere to the city plan versus guidelines issued by the governor's office.

According to the mayor's plan, the criteria for moving to Phase 2 included a "consistent decrease" over a 14-day span, using a moving 7-day average, in new COVID cases, COVID hospitalizations and percent of positive COVID tests. It also required that hospital and critical care capacity remained above 50 percent.

Phase 2 would revert back to Phase 1 if there is a "sustained increase in new COVID cases or hospital or critical care capacity falls below 50 percent."

To move to Phase 3, which would allow "limited trips outside" while "vulnerable populations continue to stay home," the mayor calls for the city to have the capacity to conduct 90 diagnostic tests for every 1,000 residents per month and to have 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents.

The mayor's release said starting tomorrow, a bi-weekly progress report would be published on the ATLstrong.org website.

“As we continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19, we are now prioritizing a safe transition into Phase 2 of our reopening plan,” said Mayor Bottoms. “Data shows that we are in a position to move forward. We encourage Atlantans citywide to continue to follow all precautionary guidelines as community transmission of COVID-19 still poses a threat to our city. As One Atlanta, we will continue to examine data developments and keep the necessities of cautiousness and vigilance at the forefront of our decision-making for the well-being of all those that call Atlanta home.” 

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