UPDATE: Gordon County Task Force updates for March 31, 2020

Press Release
Kemp Georgians

CALHOUN–Gordon County has 16 confirmed cases and one death, remaining the same as Monday night’s numbers, according to the Georgia Department of Health.

The numbers released by the Department of Public Health (DPH) as of 7 p.m. confirm 4,117 cases of COVID-19 in the state of Georgia, up 300 from 3,817 cases at the same time on Monday. The DOH releases numbers at noon and 7p.m. daily. The number of deaths increased to 125 today from 100 at the same time.

As for Gordon County,  AdventHealth Gordon numbers reported today to Gordon County Emergency Management for cases tested at their facility are as follows:
six positive results, thirty-six negative results, and twenty pending results. Just as a reminder, DPH cases are assigned to each county by the address of the resident, not where they were tested. Also, this is all the information that has been shared with Gordon County as due to HIPPA laws, the county does not know the names of any patients or fatalities.

Gordon County, Calhoun, leadership and public safety from other municipalities held their fifth meeting via web conference to discuss issues relevant to COVID-19. The  COVID-19 Pandemic Task Force comprised of all local governments, state government, public safety agencies, schools, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, public health, churches, non-profit organizations, and our hospital. These weekly meetings serve as tools to make sure all are “collaborating together to stay up to date on our current situation as well as that around our nation.

“We are working daily together to combat this virus here in Gordon County and taking steps to make sure we are prepared for different scenarios that could present themselves. Our focus is on social distancing as evidenced by the joint resolution between the county and all municipalities last week. We need our citizens to heed these directives to assist in keeping us all safer as well as doing the small things like covering your cough and washing your hands. The best-case scenario is that by practicing these things we are able to keep our numbers here in Gordon County at a lower count than some of our surrounding communities,” said Keith King, spokesman for Gordon County.

“We are all working hard on keeping the best-case scenario in play at the same time we assure the public that we are planning for a more worst-case scenario if necessary. Plans are in place and have been reviewed and updated that would address issues that we would face in this type of scenario to include surge capacity plans for our hospital, alternative care site plans if we must offer medical care in other locations, as well as casualty plans. These plans were all created in hopes that we never have to use them but they are in place and ready to be enacted if the need arises,” he continued.

He said residents should be mindful of their surroundings and use common sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases including COVID-19. Some of these steps are:

  • Stay at home if at all possible.
  • Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and practice social distancing by maintaining 6 feet of physical separation from others at all times.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

“We will continue to work diligently to be prepared to protect our citizens and visitors no matter the threat we are faced with. We continue to ask for your prayers for our community, our state, and our nation,” said King.

Gordon County Update Regarding COVID-19
March 18, 2020, 1:14 p.m.

CALHOUN, Ga.–As Gordon County Officials continue to monitor the evolving situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we believe that it is in the best interest of our employees and the public to implement the following action.

Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020, as a precaution, and to limit exposure from person to person contact, Gordon County Government will restrict public access to public County buildings and facilities. Gordon County will continue to provide services and encourages the use of online services  here. All County employees will be required to report daily as normal. As this situation continues to develop, adjustments may be made, if necessary, to facilitate the delivery of services.

Residents needing to conduct business with a County department, after an attempt to use online services, should contact that department by phone or e-mail. Contact information for County departments is available on Gordon County’s website.

This action will remain in place for at least the next 14 days and may be extended as necessary.

Again, we urge all residents to remain calm and follow the advice and recommendations of public health professionals which includes:

  • Washing your hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Cleaning/Disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Calling your healthcare provider if you experience any flu-like symptoms

If you are scheduled to appear for court, PLEASE contact your lawyer, Public Defender, or the court office that pertains to your case to determine when / where to appear.

For more information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please visit the Georgia DPH website and the CDC website.

As of March 18, 2020, Gordon County still has only 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and those citizens have been isolated and treated with appropriate care.

 

CALHOUN, Ga.–Gordon County Task Force continues to monitor and assess the COVID-19 situation relying on information being passed down from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). Based on this information the following items have been put into action in our community:

Calhoun Gordon County COVID-19 Task Force

  • Local Government, Public Safety, Public Health, Faith Based Organizations, VAC and Public School officials formed a task force to address the concerns and to form a plan in the response to the COVID-19 situation.
  • The Task Force has been meeting weekly.
  • The Task Force has developed a protocol to protect first responders who may be responding to emergency calls pertaining to COVID-19 risks.

Local Governments

  • Closed Senior Center.
    • Nutrition will be delivered.
    • Welfare calls will be made.
  • Closed Recreation Department.
    • The staff is being crossed-trained.
    • The Sonoraville gym is being sanitized to be ready if needed for other uses.
  • Equipped key staff with laptops and finance software to work remotely if needed.
  • Highlighted online services on social media and websites.
  • Monitoring CDC and Department of Public Health websites for updated information.
  • Continue to monitor the situation via briefings from the Governor’s office, the White House, and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Supporting first responders
  • Providing sanitation stations as available at the tax commissioner’s office.
  • Submitted a Continuity of Government Plan to departments to fill out.
  • Working closely with Gordon EMA and Georgia Emergency Management Agency
  • Has met in person with Calhoun to coordinate responses and phone calls with Resaca and Fairmount.
  • All county staff department heads met for a round table discussion and planning regarding needs and responses.
  • Reviewed a Gordon County Pandemic Plan.
  • Pushing notifications to departments and the public.
  • Administration has been personally checking in with departments and officials to determine needs.
  • Vulnerable employees to stay home and telecommute if possible. Could be assigned to call elderly to provide social contacts.
  • Coordinating with other counties by telephone
  • Tracking meetings and time for federal/state reimbursement opportunities.
  • Human resources are accepting applications by email only at this time.

Cities in Gordon County

  • County Administration has personally called on all cities to ascertain if they have any special needs that have arisen and to offer continuing assistance.
  • Calhoun and Gordon County leadership remain in contact and cooperation on many levels that include administration, fire, law enforcement, EMA, EMS, E9-1-1, recreation, and senior center.

Local Schools

  • Both city and county schools are closed pursuant to the Governor’s Order.
  • Staff is calling students and families to ensure that they have the resources needed.
  • Food programs have been put in place for all students.
  • For information on more closings, including non-government establish, read our updates here.

Elections

  • Early/Advance Voting was ceased at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2020.
  • The Presidential Preference Primary has been postponed until May 19, 2020.
    • If someone has already voted for their presidential preference, then only the general primary election will be on the ballot.
    • If someone has not already voted for their presidential preference, they will have the general primary election and the presidential preference on the ballot.

Courts

  • Are following the Order of the Supreme Court

Sheriff’s Office

  • Suspended in-person visitation
  • Jail lobby will be closed except for bonds
  • The Sheriff’s Office business lobby will be closed to the public.
  • Detainees are being screened outside of the building
  • Suspended inmates from working outside of the building

Fire Department

  • The firefighters of Gordon County remain at a constant state of readiness and training.
  • Protocols have been put in place to protect our firefighters from possible exposure to COVID 19.
  • Public entry to the firehouses has been restricted to impede unnecessary contact and increase social distancing.

Building and Grounds

  • The staff is providing a higher level of sterilization and wipe downs in high traffic areas.
  • Hand cleaning stations are set up in Gordon County Government Plaza as long as supplies of sanitizer last. Inventory of hand sanitizers and disinfectants is running low.
  • Notices are being posted on entries telling people to stop and do not enter if sick or exposed to someone who is sick.

Tax Assessor

  • Encouraging e-filing and reminding the public of April 1 deadline for returns and providing forms by mail on request.
  • Has arranged office for social distancing
  • Making a drop box available

Tax Commissioner

  • Hand cleaning stations in use
  • Installing “cough shields” at teller stations
  • Making a drop box available.

Ag Center

  • Meetings in the conference room are canceled

Redbone Ridges Landfill

  • Santek Environmental confirms that the landfill and convenience centers remain fully operational and fully staffed. They will continue to operate on normal hours.

Other Departments

  • Building Inspection, Public Works, and Animal Control are open at this time.

Hospital

  • Entrance points have been limited and screening stations are open at all available entrances
  • Visitation has been limited

Other Organizations

  • Chamber of Commerce has canceled all events and meetings
  • George Chamber Resource Center will be closed until March 30, 2020
  • Boys and Girls Club is closed
  • Library is closed

According to the DPH website update at noon on March 17th, confirmed cases in the state of Georgia increased in the last twenty-four hours by twenty-five cases bringing the total number in the state of Georgia to one hundred and forty-six. However, Gordon County confirmed cases remains at two.

Gordon County will continue to work diligently to evaluate measures that will assist in protecting our citizens and visitors during this difficult time. We will update if and as changes are made to our government operations and public buildings. Please continue to monitor CDC and DPH websites for the latest information on how to protect yourself and your family.

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Gordon County update 

March 16, 2020

 

On Monday, March 16, 2020, the Calhoun Gordon County COVID-19 Task Force met to discuss continued preparedness for COVID-19 response.

Local Government, Public Safety, Public Health, and Public Schools officials addressed their preparedness efforts and potential community needs.

The Emergency Operations Center has been activated in a monitoring capacity and the task force strongly recommends that everyone and all organizations adhere to the CDC guidelines of not meeting in groups of 50 or larger and to practice social distancing.

For the best source of information, please visit the following website:

CDC https://www.cdc.gov/

Georgia Department of Public Health https://dph.georgia.gov/

#flattenthecurve

 


 

Gordon County update

March 13, 2020

For Immediate Release

Calhoun and Gordon County government officials met this morning at 10:00 a.m. to continue planning regarding the COVID 19 situation.

Following the Governor’s outline for limiting the crowd exposure and protecting a vulnerable population, Calhoun and Gordon County have agreed to take preliminary steps to close the Senior Center. Steps will be taken to ensure that the seniors will receive their meal service and we will have staff making daily welfare calls to our seniors.

Both the City of Calhoun and Gordon County Parks and Recreation Departments will close their gyms and will be closed to organized activities, games, practices, and all gatherings. The parks will remain open for walking and passive activities but the intention is to limit social interactions. The recreation departments will be open for the March 24th Presidential Preference Primary.

The conference room of the Gordon County Agriculture Service Center will be closed to public meetings.

We would like to remind everyone that both City and County online services are available for those who do not want to be in public areas. Please see the City and County websites and social media accounts for more details concerning tax payments, utility payments, court services, etc.

Calhoun and Gordon County continue to attend briefings and gather information. The central theme is to be prepared but do not panic while we all work together to promote and maintain a healthy Gordon County.

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One Confirmed Case of COVID-19 In Gordon County

March 12, 2020

For Immediate Release

The Georgia Department of Public Health has reported that there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Gordon County. For more information, please visit their website at https://dph.georgia.gov/georgia-department-public-health-covid-19-daily-status-report.

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COVID-19 Calhoun Gordon County Task Force Continues to Review Plans
March 10, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The public safety group of the COVID-19 Calhoun Gordon County Task Force met today to review and update response plans and protocols. This meeting was part of an ongoing effort to help keep Calhoun and Gordon County public safety prepared for not only a potential Coronavirus case but any type of infectious disease they may encounter to include seasonal flu. This group meets regularly throughout the year to accomplish a seamless response when responding to calls for help.

To date there have been no reported positive cases of COVID-19 within Gordon County, however, neighboring counties do have confirmed cases. The Calhoun Gordon County Task Force assures our citizens that we are working to stay as up to date as possible in this emerging situation.

The overall risk of COVID-19 to the general public remains low; although elderly people and individuals with chronic medical conditions may have increased risk for COVID-19. The best prevention measures for any respiratory virus are:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and develop a fever with cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider or local health department right away. Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Community members, who have questions, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.org or call the local Public Health Department at 706-624-1444. There is also a State Department of Public Health number which is 1-866-PUB-HLTH.

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Gordon County and Calhoun City Leaders Form COVID-19 Task Force
March 3, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gordon County Health Department, Emergency Management Agency, AdventHealth Gordon hospital and EMS, Gordon County and Calhoun City officials, city, county, and state law enforcement, city and county fire department, city and county school system officials, and long-term care facilities are working in collaboration to closely monitor and prepare for the community’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Together they have formed the COVID-19 Calhoun Gordon County Task Force that will continue to meet on an ongoing basis.

Although there have been no reported cases of coronavirus in the county to date, community leaders are taking this situation very seriously. Hospital and medical facilities have implemented assessment protocols for all patients and guests.

Health care providers who suspect COVID-19 infection in a patient should report them immediately to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at 1-866-782-4584 and ask for a Medical Epidemiologist.

Schools continue to follow their regular health protocol of disinfecting surfaces and communicating standard precautions. School officials are asking parents with sick children to please keep them at home. Schools continue to update parents with informational fliers and electronic communication as necessary.

Community members who have questions, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov or call the local Public Health Department at 706-624-1444.

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Click here for the pdf file.

 


CALHOUN/GORDON COUNTY JOINT AGENCY MEDIA RELEASE
Thursday, February 27, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Counties around the state and nation, including Gordon County, are monitoring the evolution of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  We have recently received several inquiries about the impact of the Wuhan coronavirus on our community.  We continue to keep the health and well-being of our citizens and visitors as our highest priority.  There have been no reported cases of the coronavirus in Calhoun, Gordon County or the state of Georgia.

Our government and public safety teams continue to receive updates and guidance on signs and symptoms of the coronavirus.  We are working closely with the Gordon County Department of Public Health, and we are monitoring information that is being released from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Calhoun and Gordon County governments and public safety personnel along with AdventHealth Gordon will begin weekly meetings beginning on Tuesday, March 3rd to plan for and prepare to respond to any potential case of coronavirus within Gordon County.

We ask citizens and visitors to follow regular health protocols of disinfecting surfaces such as countertops, handles, doorknobs, computer keyboards, and other highly touched areas.  Although there have been no reported cases of the coronavirus in our county or state, there are preventative measures you can take, which are the same as for the flu. They include:

  • Washing hands frequently
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home if you are sick and running a fever
  • Coughing or sneezing into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it and then throw the tissue in the trash

We will update our website and social media channels if any significant information becomes available and we will work hard to keep citizens notified of contingency plans if an outbreak should occur.

Jim Ledbetter, County Administrator
Paul Worley, City Administrator
Sheriff Mitch Ralston, Gordon County Sheriff’s Office
Director Courtney Taylor, Gordon County Emergency Management Agency
Chief Doug Ralston, Gordon County Fire & Rescue Department
Chief Tony Pyle, Calhoun Police Department
Director Debbie Vance, Gordon County E-911
Chief Lenny Nesbitt, Calhoun Fire Department
Director Mike Etheridge, AdventHealth EMS

Click here for the PDF file

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