Coronavirus Update: Mayor urges testing after protests; bars and nightclubs reopen; school reopening report

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and local health officials are concerned that the ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd could cause a spike in COVID-19 cases. Thousands of people have converged on the city for the past four days, making social distancing impossible. “If you’re out there protesting, then you need to go get a COVID-19 test this week,” Mayor Bottoms said during a weekend press conference. “There’s still a pandemic in America killing black and brown people at a higher rate.” As of 1 p.m. on June 1, there were 47,618 confirmed cases in the state and the death toll stands at 2,074.

The state’s bars and nightclubs are officially allowed to open today, June 1, after Gov. Brian Kemp eased restrictions last week. Nightspots are allowed to reopen if they follow mandatory measures to “ensure patron well-being,” including limiting the number of customers to 25 people at a time or 35 percent of their total occupancy space. Many bars and restaurants – including popular spots like Dark Horse Tavern, MJQ, Mary’s, Euclid Avenue Yacht Club, and Trader Vic’s – are waiting a little longer until they can increase occupancy. Be sure to check your favorite watering hole’s website or social media before going out for drinks.

The Georgia Department of Education and Department of Public Health has released guidance for public schools to reopen this fall. The 10-page report, Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools, are not rules – since each school system operates independently under the state constitution – but offer recommendations for superintendents on how to interpret advice from local state health officials.

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