- Associated Press - Saturday, May 16, 2020

ATLANTA (AP) - Add Atlanta’s zoo to the list of things that have reopened in Georgia.

Indoor habitats, rides, playgrounds and other attractions remain closed at Zoo Atlanta because of COVID-19, but outdoor exhibits along a one-way flow for visitors opened Saturday for the first time in months, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The zoo is limiting the number of visitors by requiring them to make reservations with specific times to enter the park.

Sylidia Italiano of Kennesaw researched the zoo’s new procedures before becoming one of its first visitors after the coronavirus pandemic.

“We got the first ones,” she said as she awaited the zoo’s 10 a.m. opening. “It’s a nice situation. I do like that they have the indoors facilities closed.”

Zoo employees had to answer a health survey and have their temperatures taken before returning to work. Disinfectant is used on the grounds every 60 to 90 minutes and every hour in the restroom, said Hayley Murphy, Zoo Atlanta’s deputy director.

Workers must wear masks, but the zoo isn’t requiring them for visitors, Murphy said.

At places where people might stop and watch, like the elephant and gorilla exhibits, the zoo has squares set 8 feet (2.4 meters) apart. If too many people get together, employees will encourage them to move along, Murphy said.

“We have been super conservative because we want to make sure the experience is safe not only for our team members and guests but for the animals,” she said.

Nearly 1,600 deaths and more than 37,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in Georgia, health officials said.


Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

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