🌱 What New COVID Plan Means In GA + ATL's High of 80 + Adoptions

Happy Friday, Atlanta! Here's everything you need to know going on in Atlanta today.

First, today's weather:

Partly sunny and warm. High: 74 Low: 52.

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Here are the top 5 stories in Atlanta today:

  1. The White House has unveiled its new COVID plan, but what does it mean in Georgia? For starters, people who test positive for COVID-19 at pharmacies in Georgia will be able to get anti-viral pills "on the spot." Although the new national COVID-19 preparedness plan still must be approved and funded by Congress, it formalizes pledges President Joe Biden outlined in his State of the Union speech Wednesday to make the virus threat more manageable by making more vaccines available and calling for better surveillance of new variants. Ruled out: school and business closings as optimism grows that COVID-19 will soon be an endemic disease. (Atlanta Patch)

  2. For the first time since October, temperatures in Atlanta reached 80 degrees Thursday, matching the record high set in 1992. The bright, sunny day was 18 degrees above average, when highs are typically in the low 60s. Today's forecast calls for more sunshine and a high of 72, though the warming trend ramps back up again for the weekend. Temperatures are expected to reach 76 Saturday and 80 Sunday, which would break the record of 79 degrees set in 1974. Rain does not return to the forecast until early next week, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz. (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

  3. With temperatures reaching 80 degrees, it's definitely dog-walking weather. And everyone in need of a dog to walk - or a cat to cuddle - has come to the right place. Patch and Petfinder compile a list each week of all the pets recently put up for adoption in the area. Thousands of dogs, cats and other animals of all ages are without homes in Georgia — and many are located within driving distance. Consider starting your search at a local rescue agency like Atlanta Humane Society, where you'll find many of the adorable pets listed here. And for anyone who might not be sure if they have time to take care of a pet year round, no worries: Many shelters also offer opportunities to foster pets until they are placed. (Atlanta Patch)

  4. Trademark Properties has revealed its redevelopment plan for a distressed metro Atlanta shopping center. In Trademark's mixed-use overhaul of Alpharetta's North Point Mall, much of the mall would be torn down and the remaining structure would be surrounded by apartments, townhomes and new space for retail, restaurants and office space. When North Point Mall opened in October 1993, it was one of the largest shopping malls in the country. (Free: SpotOnGeorgia.com; Subscription: The Business Journals)

  5. West Coast hip-hop supergroup Mount Westmore - with Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube - is headed to Atlanta. Along with other California-based rappers E-40 and Too Short, the quartet has announced a 14-city tour that will come to State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Friday, May 6. Warren G. will also be included in the Atlanta date. Tickets - ranging from $60-$350 - are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com. ( The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

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Today in Atlanta:

  • Welcome back to the fair! The Atlanta Fair is cruising into town once again from today through April 10, across from the Old Turner Field at Central Avenue SW & Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard. Fairgoers will be able to kick off the warm weather months with classic carnival games, mouth-watering fair food, rip-roaring thrill rides and gentler attractions for the youngest members of the family. (9:00 AM)

  • Friends of the Toco Hill Library Book Sale will be held in the lower parking lot. All proceeds will be used to pay for library programs and materials. Only cash and checks accepted. Masks required. (11:00 AM)

  • Organ Jazz Quartet, featuring the Braves' organist, takes you back to the soulful 1960s when the classic Blue Note records of organists ruled the jazz airwaves, at Elsewhere Brewing Co. (7:00 PM)

  • 84 offers the ultimate Van Halen experience! 84 has quickly become the region's most sought-after Van Halen tribute band. At 37 Main Avondale Estates. (9:00 PM)

  • Hot Licks & Rhetoric is an Atlanta-based, nine-piece group of seasoned musicians showcasing and celebrating the timeless music of Steely Dan. At 37 Main Buford. (9:30 PM)

From my notebook:

  • Atlanta's night sky reflects the city's prayers and support for Ukraine. (Instagram)

  • Remember Bartley? When you last saw him, he had just arrived to the Atlanta Humane Society from Alabama and was absolutely terrified. He was so scared that he sat and shook in his kennel. Well, we're so excited to share that Bartley has been thriving in his foster home and is now adoptable! He has benefitted greatly from his foster fur-siblings, who have been helping him learn confidence. He's still a tad shy and would do best in a home without a lot of noise and commotion, but he'd certainly love a home with other dogs to continue showing him the ropes!To learn more about meeting Bartley, please visit: atlantahumane.org/adopt-bartley (Facebook)

  • The City of Atlanta has ended its mask mandate, and so has the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Face coverings are no longer required indoors, just in time to enjoy the unforgettable fragrance of Orchid Daze in the Fuqua Orchid Center. (Facebook)

  • Explore job opportunities with MARTA tomorrow, March 5 from 9 a.m. to noon at MARTA headquarters. We’re hiring bus operators, technicians and more! Register here: https://forms.office.com/g/cZ5MJbtpy9 (Facebook)

  • Sergeant S Ortega, Sandy Springs Police Department: "Message from GA-DOT: 285/400 Transformation Project. From our partners at Georgia Department of Transportation: Starting today, all Southbound lanes on Georgia-400 will be shifted. Drivers will not have a choice and will be placed onto new alignment. Off-ramp to Abernathy Road and Hammond Drive will be shared as the old Hammond Drive exit point closes as well. For more information and to stay up to date, please visit https://bit.ly/3BGiNrr," (Nextdoor)

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You're officially in the loop for today! I'll see you back in your inbox tomorrow with your next update.

Kathy Cioffi

This article originally appeared on the Atlanta Patch