Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has ordered flags at all city facilities to be lowered to half-staff to honor COVID-19 victims and to remind the public to stay at home until cases of the pandemic in Georgia trend downward.

“Many Atlantans have lost relatives, friends and cherished community members due to the COVID-19 virus,” said Bottoms in a press release. “We honor the lives of Atlanta residents who fall victim to this virus, and we will continue to do so until the curve is flattened in Georgia.”

The press release said Bottoms made the order “due to the inability of families to plan traditional ceremonies for those whose lives have been lost because of social distancing requirements.”

“There are so many individuals who are working on our behalf — medical professionals, first responders and front-line employees — as they put their lives on the line each day to help fight this pandemic,” said Bottoms in the press release. “We pay tribute to you as well as you care for so many others. Working together, we can emerge from this crisis stronger and more resilient than ever before.”

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.