The number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Georgia has now surpassed 20,000, state officials said Friday. In addition, there are more than 3,000 “probable’’ deaths from Covid, according to the state Public Health website. Georgia’s first confirmed Covid death was in March 2020. “It is tragic but not surprising that we have surpassed this grim milestone of 20,000 Covid deaths in our state,” Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, said in a statement. She added that 97 percent of the Covid deaths since vaccines became available have been in unvaccinated patients. “These deaths are preventable,” she said.  Hospitals in the state are overwhelmed with Covid patients, with the vast majority being unvaccinated. Currently, just 44 percent of Georgia residents are fully vaccinated. One in three hospital patients have Covid and 95 percent of ICU beds across Georgia are filled, state figures showed Friday. Read more at Reporter Newspapers.

Atlanta Police are searching for the gunman who opened fire during an Atlanta Black Pride party wounding five people on Labor Day morning. According to the incident report, officers responded to a call of multiple people shot around 6 a.m. on Proctor Street. Some victims were transported to the hospital via ambulance while others were taking by private vehicles. Preliminary investigation revealed the shooting may have stemmed from a physical altercation inside the nearby Marquette Lounge. The suspected shooter fled the scene before officers arrival.

Based on the input and guidance of public health professionals, the City of Atlanta will reopen City Hall and other city facilities to the public for certain in-person transactional services beginning today, Sept. 7, 2021. Some of the offices reopening include the Department of City Planning, Watershed Management, Department of Finance, and Department of Law. A list of the specific services, locations and hours can be found at this link. All individuals must adhere to the current mask mandate, which covers all indoor facilities. The mayor also issued an executive order lifting the moratorium on Class A outdoor events, which means new applications for permits for events with 50,000 or more to be held in the city.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.