Council also approved an executive order authorizing the allocation of up to $1.5 million to provide shelter and support services for homeless people at risk due to coronavirus. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the funding would match private and philanthropic dollars to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The Atlanta City Council held a virtual, special-called meeting on April 14 to approve a set of executive and administrative orders from the mayor’s office related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a response to Councilmember Michael Julian Bond’s ongoing concerns about people gathering in public parks, Bottoms said she’s still following recommendations from public health experts and wasn’t ready to issue a closure notice. She said police were monitoring the parks and noted that Atlanta BeltLine usage had dropped dramatically since the issuing of new guidelines last week.
The council approved a hazard pay supplement of $500 a month for the city’s public safety, sanitation and other frontline workers dealing with the public. The council also approved a temporary moratorium on residential evictions for 60 days for those who live in subsidized or assisted housing.
Bottoms addressed the council at the top of the meeting, updating on the latest COVID-19 figures – 501 deaths, 14,233 confirmed cases at lunchtime – and encouraged residents to continue to use 311 to report non-emergency situations to the city, including those breaking rules on social distancing and large gatherings.
Bottoms also noted that crime was down 29 percent over the last five weeks and that more than 400 people had applied for rent relief or reduction. She said people seeking help with rent and other financial concerns should visit the ATLSTRONG.ORG website.