WHAT’S HAPPENING

The current coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) pandemic has impacted many cities across America and the world, including Atlanta. Here is a timeline of the updates and ongoing proactive measures Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is taking to curb the proliferation of the virus in our city.

UPDATES: APRILS 24, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms launched the City of Atlanta Senior Food Assistance Program to support senior residents who are experiencing food shortage due to COVID-19. Eligible participants must meet the following specific program requirements:

  • Reside in the city of Atlanta;
  • Age 60 or older;
  • Low income (household income at or below 80% of the AMI);
  • Not participating in any other senior food assistance program and meet one of the following criteria:
  • Unable to leave home;
  • Unable to prepare meals for themselves; or
  • Unable to procure or utilize commercial home delivery services.

Seniors who reside in the city of Atlanta and are struggling to receive access to food during this time may apply to be a part of this program by completing an online survey. Residents may also contact ATL311 for information and assistance with completing the survey, by dialing 311 within the city limits or (404) 546-0311.

For more information on the Senior Food Assistance Program and to access the survey, please visit: https://atlstrong.org/seniors-support/

UPDATES: APRIL 21, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms provided an update on the City’s efforts to assist and protect the health and safety of homeless and displaced individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To read the details please click this link.

UPDATES: APRIL 20, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an Administrative Order directing the City’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) to convene an advisory council to advise the Mayor on the measures needed and steps to be taken in order to end the Mayor’s Stay at Home Order, when that time is appropriate. The Advisory Council will be comprised of representatives from Atlanta organizations and businesses and will create a framework to reopen the city of Atlanta for business, tourism, entertainment, congregational worship, large gatherings and athletic events.

The Advisory Council will be co-chaired by City of Atlanta COO Joshua Williams; Bondurant, Mixson and Elmore, LLP Partner Robbie Ashe; and immediate past National Council of Negro Women National Chairperson Ingrid Saunders Jones. Ashe coordinated the City’s response to the displacement of individuals and families caused by Hurricane Katrina. Saunders-Jones is a staunch advocate for women and children and formerly served as Senior Vice President, Global Community Relations, and Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation.

The Advisory Council will also work toward an equitable reopening structure, keeping in mind the needs of women, members of the LGBTQ community, young people, seniors and homeless or displaced individuals.

A plan of action to reopen Atlanta’s economy must be presented to Mayor Bottoms no later than May 15, 2020.

UPDATES: APRIL 14, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is partnering with Georgia’s Own Foundation to distribute the first $250,000 installment of the City of Atlanta’s commitment to support its contract employees who have experienced lost income and financial hardship due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Bank On Atlanta member institution Georgia’s Own Credit Union will administer the program. This effort comes as part of the City’s commitment to providing $7 million in relief funds to support food security efforts for students and seniors and aid City workers, workers of the City’s direct contracts and area small business. For more information and links to the City of Atlanta’s relief programs, please visit ATLSTRONG.org

UPDATES: APRIL 8, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lane Bottoms issued an Executive Order authorizing the allocation of up to one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000.00) to provide additional individual shelter options with supportive services for people experiencing homelessness. This funding will leverage private and philanthropic dollars to combat the spread of COVID-19.

These funds build upon the existing investment of one million dollars ($1,000,000) for people experiencing homelessness, which is primarily supporting isolation, testing, and transportation. Those funds have been leveraged with other State and Federal funding.

UPDATES: APRIL 7, 2020

Mayor Bottoms announces new general safety guidelines for the Atlanta Beltline, which include limiting hours to reduce congregating on the popular transportation corridor.

Read more here.

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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Housing (AH) CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. announced several rent relief efforts for seniors, families, and other residents who live in AH-owned or subsidized units and have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This includes Housing Choice Voucher Program participants.

Those residents suffering a loss of income due to COVID-19 can certify their current income and upon approval, receive a rent reduction, up to 100 percent of the contract rent, for two months, covering the months of April and May 2020, with AH making payment directly to the property owner or management company.

Read more at this link.

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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an Executive Order to—among other actions—change the effective date of the previously announced Hazard Pay Policy from March 30, 2020 to March 11, 2020 and shall remain in effect through June 30, 2020.

In addition to the receipt of hazard pay, employees eligible to receive hazard pay will be awarded 24 hours of hazard pay compensatory time per week—six days per pay period.

Any Hazard Pay Compensatory Time awarded must be used as the sole source for leave exhaustion prior to utilization of other available leave balances—such as accrued annual leave, sick leave or standard compensatory time—for all employee leave requests.

UPDATES: APRIL 6, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Atlanta City Council will participate on a conference call Tuesday, April 7 to discuss updates related to the city’s response to COVID-19. The conference call will begin at 11:30 a.m.

The public can tune into the meeting by dialing (877) 579-6743 and entering Conference ID: 8315991256. The public can also follow the meeting by the simulcast on Facebook and Twitter @atlcouncil.

UPDATES: MARCH 31, 2020:

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the launch of the #ATLSTRONG FUND, a donation campaign led by the Mayor’s Office in partnership with United Way of Greater Atlanta to support City of Atlanta residents experiencing economic hardships and health-related issues caused by COVID-19.

Donations from the #ATLStrong Fund will support the following priorities:

  • Food security for Atlanta’s children and seniors;
  • Support for individuals experiencing homelessness;
  • Small business assistance;
  • Emergency assistance for Atlantans suffering financial hardship due to the pandemic, such as loss of income, rent or utility assistance, etc.

Those who wish to give can do so through this secured link or by visiting ATLSTRONG.ORG. Through this resource hub, residents and businesses may also sign up for COVID-19 text alerts, request information on emergency fund assistance relief and more.

By texting “ATLCOVID19” to 888777, users will receive the latest and necessary information on COVID-19 as it happens. By visiting ATLSTRONG.ORG, visitors will find information on meal assistance, CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, information on Mayor Bottoms’ Executive and Administrative Orders and tax relief information for businesses.

UPDATES: MARCH 30, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an Administrative Order directing the institution of a hazard pay policy for front-line City employees. Eligible employees will be compensated an additional $500 per month.

The hazard pay policy would apply to nearly 5,400 front-line staff positions, including: sworn public safety positions and civilians performing critical watershed, aviation, solid waste, transportation, inspection, parks and recreation and other front-line functions.

This policy is to be effective March 30, 2020.

You can view Mayor Bottoms’ Administrative Order online here.

UPDATES: MARCH 28, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms reissued an Executive Order directing individuals within the territorial jurisdictional limits of the City of Atlanta to stay in their place of residence to combat the spread of COVID-19. While restrictions are not being lifted, the City has clarified certain businesses deemed essential.

The revised Order clarifies some exemptions as follows:

  • Adds an exemption for landscaping (Section 6(c)) and print shops (Section (f)(14)) which had not been previously exempt;
  • and clarifies that package stores, such as liquor stores and wine shops, (Section 6(f)(2)), bike shops, (Section 6(f)(6)), and the insurance industry, (Section 6(f)(19)) are also exempt.

For the latest official list of the Mayor’s Orders and actions, please click this link.

UPDATES: MARCH 26, 2020

Mayor Bottoms takes part in a state-wide televised Town Hall with Governor Brian Kemp and other officials on the Coronavirus Task Force.

Mayor Bottoms leads the panel charged with finding solutions for the homeless, many of whom have underlying health issues and are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. The Mayor enumerated six objectives identified by task force members to immediately address the needs of this fragile population:

  • Immediately prevent additional people from becoming homeless
  • Support enhanced cleaning, screening, and referral services
  • Expand testing for high-risk individuals in areas
  • Establish recording process specific to homeless and displaced persons
  • Ensure appropriate options for quarantine and isolation
  • Make transportation options available after release from hospitals

Mayor Bottoms also disclosed that an angel-donor in the downtown area has made a hotel available to provide homeless individuals with a place to isolate or quarantine, during their illness. The Mayor added that this would also make it easier for service providers in Atlanta to directly contact people who are homeless to give them wraparound services to steer them toward help and a place to live.

Earlier in the day, Mayor Bottoms announced the launch of #ATLSTRONG, a new website that will serve as a COVID-19 resource hub for Atlanta residents – to keep up to date on new developments and actions by the City to help them navigate safely through this historic pandemic.

UPDATES: MARCH 24, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an Executive Order postponing all meetings of City of Atlanta boards, authorities, commissions, committees or similar bodies which are scheduled to occur in City Hall or other City facilities.

All meetings of the bodies subject to this Order may resume once City Hall and other City facilities reopen to the public.

UPDATES: MARCH 23, 2020

Due to the exigent circumstances of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Mayor Bottoms has issued an Executive Order directing the residents of Atlanta to STAY AT HOME. This requires Atlantans to remain in their dwellings throughout the day. Individuals may leave their place of residence only for essential activities, essential governmental functions or to operate essential businesses.

As of this writing, the Order does not apply to the use of city parks, the Atlanta Beltline or restaurants serving takeout. The Executive Order is to remain in effect for 14 days.

UPDATES: MARCH 20, 2020

Mayor Bottoms has issued an Administrative Order directing the City’s Chief Operating Officer to coordinate with the Atlanta Chief of Police to direct police officers to refrain from enforcing any prohibition against the sale of unopened wine and/or malt beverages by the package for off-premises consumption by restaurants and bars, which have now been closed for dine-in service because of the COVID-19 emergency.

The measure will help eligible establishments weather at least some of the economic storm created by the pandemic for sixty days.

UPDATES: MARCH 19, 2020

Mayor Bottoms signed an Executive Order – effective at midnight – that limits restaurants to take-out service only. It also closes bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys and arcades and private social clubs within the city limits.

The Mayor has also issued an Executive Order to suspend towing and booting of vehicles in the city’s right of way to help restaurants provide take-out service to their customers.

UPDATES: MARCH 18, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed legislation—sponsored by Councilmembers Andre Dickens and Marci Collier Overstreet—allowing the City to temporarily reduce Concessionaire and Car Rental Company rental requirements by suspending the Minimum Annual Guarantee (MAG) payment obligation in the Concessions and Consolidated Car Rental Agreements for a period of four (4) months, ending on June 30, 2020.

The legislation is designed to allow companies to use four months of rental funds to provide relief to employees experiencing reduced hours and lost wages as a result of the COVID-19 health threat. The Administration is taking a holistic approach to dealing with the impact COVID-19 will have on concessionaires and airlines.

UPDATES: MARCH 17, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued an Executive Order allocating a $7-million dollar emergency fund to provide assistance to people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The resources are designated to fund emergency assistance to food programs for children and seniors, homeless preparedness, small businesses, hourly wage earners and others adversely affected by the illness. The order allows the City’s Chief Financial Officer to transfer uncommitted general funds to provide the assistance as follows:

•           $1 million to provide emergency assistance to child food programs

•           $1 million to provide emergency assistance to senior food programs

•           $1 million to provide emergency assistance to homeless preparedness

•           $1.5 million to support small business continuity

•           $1 million for the purchase of technology to support the City’s full telework deployment

•           $1.5 million to assist hourly wage earners of businesses engaged with the City of Atlanta

UPDATES: MARCH 16, 2020

Mayor Bottoms has declared a State of Emergency for the City of Atlanta. The order will immediately limit the size of large public gatherings to 50. This number could be further reduced given the fluid nature of the crisis.

The Mayor has also issued an Executive Order calling upon the City’s partners to halt evictions for sixty days.

Atlanta City Hall is closed to the public, as are other City facilities, including the Municipal Court. The Centers of Hope will be open weekdays from 4-6pm to provide meals for children who are currently serviced by after school programming.

Non-essential City personnel have been ordered to work from home via the City’s telework policies. All critical services continue to be operational.

The public is urged to use the City’s online portals to conduct routine business and to stay informed about the City of Atlanta’s continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That link can be accessed here.

MARCH 12, 2020: 

Reports now confirm the NCAA wants to relocate the Final Four tournament from Mercedes Benz Stadium to a smaller venue after deciding that the games will be off limits to the general public.

UPDATE: The NCAA Basketball Tournament is now cancelled.

Additionally, the Atlanta Hawks have stopped playing basketball after the NBA suspended its season, when a player came down with the virus.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms immediately took direct action to keep residents safe during the potentially dangerous outbreak by issuing critical Administrative Orders to:

  • halt termination of water services for 60 days (link here)
  • fund a Coronavirus Pandemic Coordination Team (link here)

The steps were taken to make sure residents continue to have uninterrupted access to water and the government resources they need to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City is also working closely with state and federal partners to help keep you safe.

Please use this link to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, which has the updated information you’ll need to stay informed, as the nation, the world and your city continue to fight for your good health.