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Testing, contact tracing teams from NY to head to Atlanta to help with rising COVID-19 cases

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Contact tracing and testing teams from New York State are heading to Atlanta as the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the city continues to increase.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Monday during a news briefing with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Days after Bottoms announced she tested positive for the virus herself, Cuomo said New York is ready to do all it can to assist the Atlanta community.“Anything we can do for you, for the city, we stand ready,” Cuomo said.  “I’ll send a team down to Atlanta and they can work with your people and whatever we know and whatever we can share we will do.”

Bottoms expressed her concern with the increasing number of positive cases around Georgia and how Gov. Brian Kemp is handling the virus.

“In Atlanta, when we saw that we were in a very different place than the Governor’s leadership was taking us, we convened an advisory committee in our city,” Bottoms said.

Most recently Bottoms announced the city would go back to Phase 1 of its reopening plan to curb the increase of positive cases.

“We had made it into the second phase, but given where we are, I see that capacity is maxed out in some hospitals by the day. We’re getting closer to maxing out. The numbers are ticking up. I look at the numbers daily. I have seen numbers that I have not seen since April. As of yesterday afternoon, we were up almost 23% over a week period. We’re headed in the wrong direction. So, the city, we’ve recommended we go back to phase one, which is essentially a stay-at-home order,” Bottoms said.

Atlanta has also initiated a mask mandate which requires a mask be worn in public spaces, including Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, as part of the city’s coordinated approach to prevent the virus from spreading.

Cuomo and Bottoms did not say when the teams from New York were expected to arrive.

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