Chattahoochee trail proposal includes bridge to Hyde Farm

Chattahoochee Riverlands Hyde Farm

After more than two years of community meetings and design work, the mother of all master plans for a multi-use recreational trail along the Chattahoochee River has been presented.

It would connect more than 100 miles of existing and new trails and establish new water access points, including a pedestrian bridge over the river connecting Hyde Farm in East Cobb to Fulton County.

That’s one of the many components of the Chattahoochee RiverLands project, led by the non-profit Trust for Public Land, and conducted in conjunction with the Atlanta Regional Commission, Cobb County Government and the City of Atlanta.

It’s being conceived as a major public recreational resource for a significant slice of metro Atlanta, bordering and in proximity to several counties and nearly 20 cities.

Hyde Farm pedestrian bridge
A proposed pedestrian bridge over the Chattahoochee River connecting Hyde Farm with Morgan Falls Overlook Park. For a larger view click here.

In July the nearly 300-page Chattahoochee RiverLands final report was issued (you can read/download it here), laying out a variety of recreational options between Buford Dam near Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee Bend State Park near Newnan.

In between is a stretch of the Chattahoochee bordering East Cobb that contains trailheads of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area: the Gold Branch, Johnson Ferry North and Columns Drive.

Hyde Farm, 42 acres of greenspace that’s used by Cobb Parks and Recreation for educational and recreational purposes, would be part of that connectivity. The National Park Service also has been looking at a possible corridor trail closing a two-mile gap between Hyde Farm and Johnson Ferry North.

(On Saturday there’s a free walking tour of Hyde Farm, as there is the first Saturday of each month).

The Chattahoochee RiverLands proposal would hook up Hyde Farm with the Morgan Falls Overlook Park in Sandy Springs via a pedestrian bridge.

That’s a 30-acre park run by the City of Sandy Springs with picnic space, walking trails and a seasonal paddle shack.

Branching out from the Chattahoochee River greenway would be a network of blueways (water tributaries), parks and other recreational destinations.

The RiverLands project would have 25 trailheads in all, about 5 miles apart, with 43 water access points, 26 existing and 17 proposed.

It’s a grand vision, to be sure, and the work included the creation of the Chattahoochee Working Group, with than 120 stakeholders, among them the Chattahoochee River National Park Conservancy, the Cumberland Community Improvement District and the U.S. National Park Service, which oversees the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

There’s not a cost or timetable for the RiverLands project, but according to portions of the report’s recommendations, hundreds of millions of dollars would be required and a couple of decades would be needed for completion.

Those costs would include land acquisition in addition to construction of bridges and trails, which would be for pedestrians and bicycling.

The Chattahoochee RiverLands site has other portions of the report available for download, as well as interactive maps.

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East Cobb Biz Update: Stretch Society grand opening is Monday

Audrey Cox, manager of the Stretch Society studio in East Cobb that’s been in the works for a few weeks now, says the business will have its grand opening Monday.Stretch Society East Cobb

It’s located in Market Plaza (1255 Johnson Ferry Road), in Suite 26, in the former Motion Stretch space next to Bird Watcher’s Supply.

She says her studio is offering a free two-week trial period for new customers. More details on its Facebook page.

As the name suggests, Stretch Society offers a variety of classes for general wellness, and to improve mobility, flexibility and strength.

It’s a metro-Atlanta franchise chain with locations in Brookhaven, Buckhead and Kennesaw.

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Cobb public health confirms 100 COVID cases in Cobb schools

Cobb schools Coronavirus guidelines

The Cobb County School District said late Thursday afternoon that “approximately 100” students and staff have what it terms “suspected” cases of COVID-19.

The district isn’t saying anything more, including a breakdown of those suspected cases between students and employees or identifying which schools may be affected.

Valerie Crow, a spokeswoman for Cobb and Douglas Public Health, said those suspected 100 cases have been confirmed as positive COVID-19 cases.

A Cobb school district spokeswoman sent a statement to East Cobb News saying that “to protect the medical rights of those involved, further detail will not be provided by the District. Questions involving confirmed cases should be directed to DPH.”

She did not respond to a question from East Cobb News about how many staffers are not at work as a result of having a suspected case of the virus.

Citing federal health privacy laws, Crow she said she could not disclose the exact breakdown numbers of students and staff who have tested positive, nor would she reveal the schools involved.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, a suspected COVID-19 case can be someone who has tested for the virus but has not yet received results. That definition also includes those who may have been exposed to someone with the virus and who may be in the process of being tested.

The Cobb school district statement said that “anytime a Cobb student or staff member reports a suspected case, DPH confirms (through testing), contact traces anyone else who may have been impacted, and provides guidance to each affected person. If a case is confirmed, their guidance recommends the person affected quarantine for 10 days and we strictly enforce their guidance.”

Cobb school teachers and staff reported to their schools last week for preplanning, ahead of an online-only start to the school year that begins Aug. 17. The case reporting dates back to July 1. Athletes in some sports have been participating in on-campus workouts. In June, there was a confirmed COVID-19 case within the Pope football team.

In announcing his decision to start virtually, Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said last month that the level of “community spread” of the virus in Cobb County remains too high to safely begin in the schools.

One of the metrics that’s being followed is confirmed cases per 100,000, with anything more than 100 cases per 100,000 considered high community spread. As of Thursday, Cobb’s figure is around 1,609 cases per 100,000 population; however, that figure has dropped to 373 cases per 100,000 in the last two weeks.

Cobb County has a population of around 760,000. As of Thursday afternoon, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported that there have been 12,718 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cobb County, with 2,950 in the last two weeks alone.

A total of 313 deaths have been reported in Cobb since the outbreak began in March.

Crow said that when an individual is tested for the virus, they are asked for employment and school information, although it’s not required.

She said that “many of these cases were reported to CDPH BY the school system because the case informs the school before public health even has the lab report by the provider.”

Crow added that “we speak to the school nurses nearly daily, they know of these cases very quickly after we do, and many times they are the ones reporting cases to us.”

On Tuesday, Ragsdale outlined plans for a return to classroom instruction but didn’t give any dates, saying that would be determined by analyzing public health data, including  relating to community spread.

Once classroom learning begins, the plans call for K-5th grade students to return first, followed by middle school and then high school students in a phased approach.

Gwinnett, the largest school district in Georgia, starts online-only Aug. 12. Earlier this week, it was reported that 260 staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who’s been infected and are not at work.

Other school districts opened in metro Atlanta this week, including Cherokee County, where confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in four schools.

Cherokee and Paulding opened for classes Monday with both in-school and remote learning options. Marietta City Schools also started Monday, but online-only.

Cobb, Gwinnett, Atlanta and Fulton are among the districts in metro Atlanta starting online-only.

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Lassiter HS vandalism suspects sought by Cobb schools police

Lassiter HS vandalism suspects

The campus at Lassiter High School was vandalized late Wednesday, and Cobb County School District police are seeking the public’s help in finding two while males suspected in the incident.

Grainy surveillance photos of the suspects have been released, and they are wearing long-sleeve sweatshirts (one with UnderArmour insignia) with hoodies and long sweat pants.

One of the young males is wearing a white face mask and yellow running shoes, and the other has a dark face mask with white running shoes.

The suspects parked a vehicle in the band parking lot around 10:30 p.m. and left the school around 11:30 p.m., according to Cobb schools police, who said their surveillance cameras couldn’t make out the make or model of the vehicle.

Officer Jerry Quan, Lassiter’s resource officer, said the letter “A” with a circle around it was scrawled with spray-paint on a wall, which is a symbol for anarchists.

Quan said he doesn’t think they’re anarchists but likely are students and that this isn’t a major incident.

But you’re asked that if you saw anything or know anything, to contact him at [email protected] or 678-494-7863, extension 007.

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Mabry teacher named Cobb middle school teacher of the year

Cobb middle school teacher of the year, Michelle Gottenberg, Mabry Middle School

The Cobb County School District on Thursday named its school-level teachers of the year, and they include Michelle Gottenberg of Mabry Middle School.

She’s the district’s Middle School teacher of the year, and was surprised by the honor last week as teachers returned for a new school year:

“I can’t believe it! This is surreal! It will take me some time to process this. What an incredible honor!”

Gottenberg has taught 7th grade English and language arts at Mabry for seven years, and has been in the district for 11 years. Here’s principal Jonathan Tanner

“She has an ability to genuinely connect with students. Her dedication and drive to support the academic progress of her students and her innovative, creative lessons truly engage and inspire her students to achieve at higher levels. She is an amazing asset for our school!”

The district named Darline Douangvilay of City View Elementary School the elementary school teacher of the year and Beth Foster of Osborne High School as the high school teacher of the year.

One of those three will be named the district’s overall teacher of the year later in the fall.

In 2018, the Cobb teacher of the year was Fred Veeder, a 7th grade math teacher at Dodgen Middle School.

Last year, Lassiter English teacher Hilary Minich was named the Cobb high school teacher of the year.

Michelle Gottenberg, Mabry Middle School, Cobb teacher of the year

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Pope softball team ranked No. 1 in Class 6A preseason poll

Pope softball team state champions

Coming off their second Georgia High School Association state championship, the Pope softball team is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA to start the 2020 season.

Many teams are starting play on Thursday, but the Greyhounds don’t have their opener until Aug. 11, when they play host to Woodstock.

Coach Chris Turco’s team went 30-4 in 2019 was able to win the state title at home after rain washed out the finals in Columbus.

Pope lost some valuable seniors from that team but return some budding new stars, including Jadyn Laneaux, a sophomore outfielder who excelled in the finals against Lee County. (Her sister Zoe, a shortstop, is one of those departed seniors.)

Also returning is the team’s top pitcher, Hallie Adams, who’s now a senior. More about the Pope team, including rosters, can be found here.

Kell, Sprayberry and Walton are starting their seasons on Thursday, while Wheeler gets underway on Saturday.

Lassiter, which reached the Class 7A Final Eight last year, also starts its season on Tuesday.

Due to GHSA reclassification, five of the six teams in East Cobb will be playing in the same region of Class 6A. Walton remains in Class 7A but is playing Wheeler and Kell during the regular season.

Softball is the first fall sport to get underway in Georgia, and it’s starting on time. The GHSA has delayed the start of football season and limited practices due to COVID-19 guidance.

Cross country season swings into action next week. Walton is the reigning Class 7A boys state champion.

Volleyball also is scheduled to get underway without delays, with most teams in East Cobb starting on or around Sept. 1. That’s when defending Class 7A champion Walton starts its season against Marietta.

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GHSA cancels football scrimmages, delays cheer, one-act play

High school football season is still on—for now—but the Georgia High School Association on Thursday announced that pre-season scrimmages will be cancelled.GHSA logo, Walton and Pope volleyball, East Cobb swimmers

Competitions in cheerleading and one-act play that take place during the fall semester will be put on hold.

GHSA executive director Robin Hines made the announcement the day after officials with the state’s high school athletics governing body’s sports medicine committee met. That body discussed concerns from Dr. Kathleen Toomey, director of the Georgia Department of Public Health, over COVID-19 cases in the state.

Georgia’s case numbers rose sharply during the month of July, and vast community spread has prompted many school district’s, including Cobb County, to start the school year online-only.

In issuing his new guidance, Hines said football scrimmages are being called off due to high risk and physical contact. Practices that began in late July can still go on, but teams must follow GHSA guidelines to do so in a controlled environment.

Football teams typically have scrimmages a week or two before their seasons begin.

The GHSA pushed back the start of the season two weeks while keeping the regular schedules for other fall events.

The Corky Kell Classic also has changed venues for its slate of season-opening football games, moving the Kell-Walton game to Walton’s Raider Valley on Sept. 4.

According to SCORE Atlanta, GHSA has received more than 600 reports of players testing positive for COVID-19 since football workouts resumed in July.

The only known positive case involving an East Cobb team was someone with the Pope program in June, but it hasn’t been disclosed if it’s a player or a coach.

Some states have delayed their football seasons to the spring, including California. High school athletic directors in Florida are urging football season to be postponed.

The GHSA has issued lengthy guidance for other fall sports. In volleyball, an indoor sport, teams may not use locker rooms, the home team must provide hand sanitizers for both teams and officials, and the visiting team must arrive already in uniform.

Face coverings are recommended but not required, and social distancing guidelines will be followed for team bench areas. Players cannot lick fingers, touch their mouths or blow into their hands while on the court.

Spectator areas also must include social-distancing measures, and the home team must regularly sanitize balls, the playing court, netting, the scorers table and referee stand.

Similar guidelines have been issued for cross country, an outdoor sport.

Hines said the indoor venues for cheerleading and one-act play do not allow for social distancing, and those were potentially high-risk activities mentioned by Toomey.

Instead, cheerleading competitions would begin in late November and conclude in February, and one-act play events are tentatively being delayed until the spring.

Toomey also was concerned about chorus and orchestra activities that are also indoors. GHSA does not oversee those events.

Last month, the directors of marching band programs at the 16 high schools in the Cobb County School District said they would not have fall competitions, following guidance from the Georgia Music Educators Association.

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As East Cobb man nears 100th birthday, ‘I never worry about tomorrow’

East Cobb man turns 100

Ever since Harry Kone survived wounds at Guadalcanal that reduced him to one working lung, he’s chalked up his long life to a simple philosophy:

“I never worry about tomorrow.”

It’s a mindset that served him well in 40 years as a public school teacher in Chicago, in raising three children and in staying involved with veterans groups and his church since his retirement.

In 1995, Kone and his late wife Marjorie moved to a senior-living community in East Cobb, off Johnson Ferry Road, to be closer to two of their children.

These days, one of those children, his daughter Sue Lind, is his in-home caregiver, and in recent weeks she’s been busy preparing for a very different birthday celebration for him.

It’s not just that Kone will turn 100 years old on Aug. 16. In the time of COVID-19, he’ll finally be able to see family members he hasn’t seen since the outbreak in March.

But they’ll be doing it incrementally, one family at a time.

“Everybody’s coming on a different day,” Sue explains about the need to keep gatherings small, and she notes, less hectic.

Kone’s friends from the Squire “Skip” Wells Marine Corps League also will be wishing him a happy birthday, via conference call.

Kone accepts the reality of the health restrictions.

“I feel great,” he says.

He’s met with some of his Marine League buddies in his garage, all of them sitting socially distanced.

“His social life has been more robust than mine,” says Sue, a human resources consultant who sold her home in Buckhead four years ago to look after her father. “His life is here.”

Kone also has been active at the Unity North Atlanta Church on Sandy Plains Road, where the minister is planning a special video message for his birthday.

His resilience was shaped by his younger years. The only child of a Baltimore railway clerk and a homemaker, Kone was an avid reader, the habit instilled by his mother.

In 1939, he had moved to Milwaukee to work as a welder, and attended a branch of the University of Wisconsin on scholarship to help develop children’s programming in the very early days of televison.

He was living in a boarding house there when he met the young woman to whom he would be married for 65 years.

After Pearl Harbor, Kone volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps, and served as a machine gunner in the South Pacific.

It was at Guadalcanal that he recalls a conversation he and some of his fellow Marines had, during a lull in the combat.

“We were talking about what we were going to do when we got back home,” Kone said.

Not long after that, the Japanese began a bombardment attack, and many of those young men never made it home.

Harry Kone, East Cobb World War II veteran
Harry Kone cuts his 99th birthday cake in 2019 with friends from the Marine Corps League.

“You never know what’s going to happen the next day,” he said, explaining how he wanted to return to service after getting wounded in that engagement.

As it turned out, his injuries were too severe, and he was honorably discharged in 1945. A bout with tuberculosis kept him in a Veterans Administration hospital for two years.

But Kone persisted with his aim of becoming a teacher, and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University. He and Marjorie raised their family on the west side of Chicago, and lived there for 50 years. Kone later taught at the college level and made appearances as a public speaker.

After moving to East Cobb, Kone hooked up with the local Marine Corps League, which has met at the veteran-owned Semper Fi Bar & Grill in Woodstock. Marjorie Kone died nine years ago, at the age of 90.

Last year, for his 99th birthday, he was honored by the Cobb Board of Commissioners.

“He always used to say that every day was a holiday,” Sue says.

Kone also stays engaged with books. Sue says he’s always reading something related to current affairs. On a coffee table in his living room is his current book, “So You Want To Talk About Race?” by Ijeoma Oluo.

Kone has some big plans for the near future. His grandson, who lives in London, is getting married to a British woman next summer, and he wants to make the trip for the wedding at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Kone says he understands the anxiety many people are facing today, given the circumstances, and harkens back to memories of what he endured during World War II.

“From then on, I never worried about much. I had plans, but I didn’t worry about what I’m going to do tomorrow,” he said.

“This is what worries a lot of people,” Kone said, but “if I’m dead tomorrow, I don’t have to worry.”

He lets out a bit of a laugh and a big smile, and then offers up what he claims is the real secret to a good, long life.

“The three ‘S’s,” he said. “[Get] lots of sleep. [Do] lots of stuff. [Have] lots of sex.

“If you have that, you’ll live to be 100.”

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Former Burger’s Market owner opening weekend produce stand

Burger's Market closing
Burger’s Market closed on Canton Road in August 2018 after 45 years. (ECN file)

Following up our post about local weekend produce stands, comes some more good news for fresh vegetable and fruit fans:

One of the former owners of the Burger’s Market in East Cobb are starting one of their own, starting this Saturday. It’s been almost two years since the market closed on Canton Road, after 45 years in business.

Tina Burger Berry, daughter of the Burger’s Market founder Truman Burger, is taking online orders through 10 a.m. Thursday (details below). The pickup spot is the Daily Bread Cafe (531 Roselane St. in Marietta, near Kennestone Hospital, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

She and her sister Sharilyn have kept the market’s Facebook page alive, and on Monday, that’s where Tina announced the news about the pop-up market:

“I’ve been thinking and praying on a way to serve our loyal customers and community with the freshest, most local produce available like our family did for over 45 years every since we shut our doors and sold almost 2 yrs ago. When God closes one door, he always opens another. So, after much prayer and anticipation….HERE it goes!! We will not have a storefront, consider us more of a local mobile market of sorts.”

What they’re offering are fixed bags of vegetables ($25) and fruit ($20) and a make-your-own bag with a $15 minimum. Each Monday by 2 p.m. they’ll list the available items for that weekend’s market, with the deadline for ordering by 2 p.m. Thursday by e-mailing [email protected] or by filling out this form.

Payment is cash or Venmo, which is becoming the standard for some other pop-up stands that have emerged recently.

Orders will come in brown paper bags, but you’re free to bring your own bags or boxes. The first weekend items are as follows:

  • Fruit bag: Tree ripened peaches, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Muscadines or Scuppernongs
  • Veggie bag: Vine ripe Tomatoes Stringless Pole beans, Sweet potatoes, Pickling cukes, Yellow crookneck squash, Georgia Kale, Silver queen corn, Vidalia onions
  • Make your own bag (items also sold individually): Okra, Vidalia onions, Red tomatoes , Fresh shelled lady finger peas or white butter beans, Zuchini Silver queen corn, Cantaloupe, Heirloom tomatoes, Watermelon, Green boiling peanuts.

Tina asked for patience us as we navigate through this new endeavor . . . We sure have missed you!! I can’t wait to see you beautiful people!!”

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Cobb schools announce classroom reopening plans but no dates

Cobb school superintendent honored

Late Tuesday afternoon the Cobb County School District released what it calls a “phased model” outlining the steps for reopening schools for classroom instruction.

What it doesn’t include are any dates.

According to information contained in the outline, those dates:

“Will be determined by analyzing public health data specific to Cobb County provided by the Department of Public Health and the Cobb/Douglas Board of Health including the level of community spread, effective contact tracing, and efficient COVID-19 test timelines. When we are able to safely offer a face-to-face classroom option and a remote classroom option, we will use the following phased model.”

Cobb schools classroom reopening plans

Here’s a link to what the district’s phases look like, and here’s a thumbnail synopsis below:

  • Phase One: All kindergarten through fifth-grade students for full-day instruction. ASP will resume for students in face-to-face classrooms. All kindergarten through twelfth-grade low incidence special education classes will have a face-to-face option starting in phase one.
  • Phase Two: All sixth through eighth-grade students for full-day instruction. Phase two will begin two weeks after the start date of phase one.
  • Phase Three: All ninth through twelfth-grade students for full-day instruction. Phase three will begin two weeks after the start date of phase two.

Before each phase, parents can choose to send their children back to schools or stay with online-only.

The district hasn’t said how social distancing guidelines might factor into those plans. Before a switch to online-only learning was made, district leaders said mask-wearing would be expected and recommended but not required.

Other metro Atlanta school districts have begun announcing how and when they’ll reopen their schools, including Fulton County and Gwinnett County, which on Tuesday also outlined steps and included targeted dates.

Gwinnett, the largest school district in Georgia, starts online-only Aug. 12, a few days earlier than Cobb, and then adds several grade levels a week, as well as special-education tiers, on  Aug. 26, Sept. 2, and Sept. 9.

What Gwinnett schools haven’t acknowledged, but that was reported on Monday, is that 260 staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone who’s been infected and are not at work.

Gwinnett teachers and staff, like those in Cobb, reported for preplanning activities last week.

Gwinnett has the second-highest number of virus cases in Georgia, with 18,201 as of Tuesday. Cobb is fourth with 12,135.

Last month, Cobb school superintendent Chris Ragsdale cited community spread and rising case numbers of COVID-19 for starting the school year online-only.

One of the metrics Ragsdale is looking at is the number of COVID cases per 100,000 population, with anything more than 100 considered “significant community spread.”

Cobb’s population is more than 760,000.

After a sharp increase in July in Cobb, that figure is 1,535 cases per 100,000, but it’s dropped to 361 per 100,000 over the last two weeks.

Gwinnett’s figures are 1,835 per 100,000 and 418 per 100,000 over the last two weeks. The population is 970,000.

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60 percent of all East Cobb COVID-19 cases reported in July

East Cobb COVID cases July
For a larger view and to hover over map areas and get further details, click here. Source: Cobb GIS.

Following up last week’s post on the growth of COVID-19 cases in Cobb County, there are some updated figures now posted breaking down how that looks by ZIP Codes for the month of July.

In East Cobb, the surge in positive cases matches what’s been happening in the county, with 60.6 percent of all cases in our five ZIP Codes being reported in July.

At the start of last month, there were 912 cases in all. In July, 1,404 cases were reported, for a total of 2,316. That’s per the latest figures compiled by the Cobb County GIS unit, which updated the map seen above and that you can hover over here.

The figures indicated below are cases reported on July 1  and at the end of the month, with the number deaths in parenthesis:

  • 30067: 287 to 689 (10)
  • 30062: 252 to 672 (12)
  • 30066: 217 to 551 (11)
  • 30068: 140 to 360 (19)
  • 30075: 24 to 44 (0)
30066 July COVID progression map
To view a hover map and details of day-by-day case totals for each ZIP Code, click here. Source: Cobb GIS

Included in those hover maps are details tracking the progression of COVID-19 cases day-by-day; keep in mind those cases are tallied by the date they are reported, and not the day a test is taken.

The blue icons in that map represent public school locations.

As we noted in a post last week, the Georgia Department of Public Health is now reporting date of case and date of death figures, statewide and by county, in its Daily Status Report that is updated at 3 p.m. daily.

The “date of onset” case figures for Cobb peaked in July in the first half of the month, both by date and by a 7-day moving average. Those figures were a downward trend by the end of the month and as August began.

The number of deaths grew by 12 during the month of July in East Cobb, from 41 before the start of the July 4 holiday weekend to 52 by the end of the month.

Cobb GIS also has updated that map, which shows the location of long-term care homes. Of the 52 deaths in East Cobb ZIP Codes, 25 have been in those homes

Testing has gone up dramatically in Cobb County and Georgia. In July, there were more than 700,000 COVID-19 tests in the state, with the positive case numbers jumping from 104,423 to 194,804.

Cobb testing data has been limited; at the end of July Cobb and Douglas Public Health reported that it had conducted 27,650 tests at Jim Miller Park.

But that doesn’t include those tested at private labs and doctor’s offices, and there is no testing data available by ZIP Code.

Cobb DPH also is no longer tracking “test positivity” rates, meaning the number of people who test positive out of those getting tested. As of late July, that figure had hovered around seven percent, with 5 percent being considered an acceptable rate.

Across the state, positivity rates surged to nearly 15 percent at times during July, and are now around 10 percent.

Those figures reflect the level of “community spread” that has caused concern as schools prepare to return, and that prompted the Cobb County School District, among many in metro Atlanta, to start the school year online-only.

Cobb and Georgia public health agencies began tracking COVID-19 data in mid-March, from the time Gov. Brian Kemp declared a public health emergency that he has extended several times, including last week.


As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, there were 12,135 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cobb County, and 304 deaths. A total of 2,855 of those cases have come in the last two weeks.

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Wesley Chapel Road rezoning request continued to September

Revised Z-40 Site Plan

A rezoning request to build 81 homes on Wesley Chapel Road, near Garrison Mill Elementary School, is being continued to September.

The Cobb Planning Commission voted Tuesday to delay the case at the request of the applicant, Brooks Chadwick Capital LLC.

The East Cobb developer wants to build the new subdivision on two slabs totaling nearly 50 acres on either side of Wesley Chapel Road that’s undeveloped, except for two older homes.

The request has generated some community opposition. A group of nearby homeowners and homeowners associations posted an online petition objecting to the proposal’s density, along with concerns over school capacity, traffic close to a school and stormwater and wildlife issues

Those individuals and groups weren’t identified, by Catherine Kommer, a nearby resident, told East Cobb News that the homes in the proposed development are “very close and leave little room for trees. It is an unhealthy plan. I would hope that air quality and health would be in the forefront of everyone’s minds with respect to the corona virus. It’s hard to understand accepting a plan that would hinder air quality in the middle of a pandemic.”

She’s written a letter to that effect to Cobb Commissioner JoAnn Birrell (the rezoning also includes Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott’s district).

Also delayed until September is a request by Site Partners LLC, the owner of the Sandy Plains Village Shopping Center, to convert part of that retail center for townhomes and retail space.

Cobb Zoning Staff is continuing the request after the applicant revised its site plan last week. The case was initially delayed from July, after staff recommended denial, saying the townhomes were incompatible with nearby single-family communities and traffic concerns.

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