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Over 500K phones in DeKalb light up with urgent COVID alert

By J.D. Capelouto, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

DeKalb County would like you to know that this pandemic is still very real.

Over half a million phones buzzed early Friday morning with an urgent message from the county reminding people to take precautions heading into the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“Our fight against COVID-19 is not over,” the emergency alert stated. “The spread has slowed but has not stopped. Stay vigilant.”

The message went out to the 566,000 people who are in DeKalb’s “CodeRED” emergency notification system, the county said in a statement. A text message was also sent to “all residents, visitors and commuters in county’s boundary at the time of the alert.”

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Throughout the upcoming holiday weekend, DeKalb said, all visitors will receive “targeted COVID-19 alerts.”

Friday’s alert mirrored a similar message sent to DeKalb residents and visitors over the July 4 holiday weekend. It urged residents to stay home when possible, wear a mask, social distance and avoid large gatherings.

“Do not allow our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 be undermined during the Labor Day weekend,” DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said in a statement. “We must remain vigilant because the fight against the deadly pandemic is not over.”

DeKalb has recorded almost 17,000 total coronavirus cases, the fourth highest in the state, according to the Georgia Department of Health. In the last two weeks, it has seen over 1,100 confirmed cases.

On social media, several residents complained about the early-morning nature of the alert, which some received around 8 a.m.

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