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Georgia Pushes Back Presidential Primary; Athens Legislators Issue Coronavirus Warning

Gov. Brian Kemp.

Georgia is postponing early voting in the Democratic presidential primary and pushing Election Day back from Mar. 24 to May 19 due to fears of voters and poll workers spreading coronavirus.

May 19 is also the date of Democratic and Republican primaries for seats in Congress and the state legislature, as well as nonpartisan local races such as the Athens-Clarke County Commission and Clarke County Board of Education.

Early voting will resume at some point before May 19, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In addition, Mayor Kelly Girtz, state Reps. Spencer Frye (D-Athens), Houston Gaines (R-Athens) and Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville), and Sens. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) and Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville) issued a statement today saying that they except to see COVID-19 cases in Athens.

As testing becomes more widespread and available, we anticipate positive cases in our community. We want to assure the public that your Athens community healthcare providers, including Piedmont Athens Regional and St. Mary’s, are in constant communication and coordination with each other as well as the state and federal government, the Mayor and the local state legislative delegation. The Athens community is prepared, and we are actively taking steps for continued response – including working to increase testing access locally.

If you are experiencing symptoms please call your healthcare provider before coming to a facility to determine the appropriate next steps. Use common sense – hand washing, avoiding close contact, stay home if you are sick, cover coughs and sneezes – and for real time information, please visit and

The Clarke County School District also announced plans to distribute meals while classes are suspended. Starting Tuesday, breakfast and lunch will be available for pickup from 8–10 a.m. at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School and Hilsman Middle School. Students must be present to receive meals, and meals for adults will not be available for purchase. CCSD will also deliver meals to some neighborhoods, which will be posted to the CCSD website Monday.