Commissioner Bradshaw asks public to continue their efforts against COVID-19

Health, News
bradshaw Towns County shelter in place

HIAWASSEE, Ga – On the courthouse steps, Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw spoke the residents of Towns County and encouraged them to continue following the CDC guidelines.

He’s also telling any people who want to visit the county to stay home. When everything is lifted, Towns County will welcome visitors with open arms, but not right now. People need to stay home so freedoms can be restored hopefully sooner rather than later.

“Now is not the time to come to Towns County. I ask them the simple question every time, ‘what does shelter in place mean?’ The phone gets silent on the other end,” said Bradshaw.

Georgia’s COVID-19 peak is expected around April 26, but that doesn’t mean the “danger of this pandemic virus will be eliminated at that time.” Some reports have pushed the peak out to May and others suggest Georgia’s already over the peak.

Citizens should continue to shelter in place, frequent handwashing, practice six feet apart social distancing, wear cloth face masks in public settings, and if sick isolate and contact physician.

“I would like to take the time to thank you for your cooperation, understanding, patience, and support during these difficult times,” said Bradshaw. “As we are seeing an increase in confirmed cases in Towns County and across the nation, I want to assure you that as your commissioner, I am doing everything within the law to combat the spread of the virus.”

The total of confirmed cases in Towns County has risen significantly over the past 48 hours, jumping from three to ten. Health officials continue to urge caution due to asymptomatic transmission and many cases could go unreported because the afflicted only experience mild symptoms.

Bradshaw is in constant contact with government officials on how to control the spread of COVID-19.

He also took a moment to thank local healthcare workers and essential employees who are tirelessly providing aid to patients during this crisis.

“I would also like to express my appreciation to healthcare workers, public safety personnel, and all other essential workers for the vital services you are providing to our community. We are very fortunate to live in such a loving and caring community, working together we can limit the threat this virus has brought to our community,” expressed Bradshaw.

The commissioner also addressed the financial state of the county, and currently, Towns is in good shape financially due to former Commissioner Kendall’s “rainy day fund” and the good economy leading up to the shutdown. Kendall’s fund has three months of operating expenses stored even if the county has no income.

“In year 2018, we increased our revenue by $600,000, that’s a lot of money for a small county, small budget, compared to most counties,” explained Bradshaw. “Tourism dollars, since I’ve been in office, has increased over $3M that’s dollars spent in Towns County on tourism. We pushed very, very hard for that. Our sales tax collection last year was up over $100,000. So that’s a good economy and that’s us pushing to take advantage of a good economy.”

Bradshaw did caution that eventually the county may have to dip into the “rainy day fund,” but right now all county departments are under direction to only complete necessary spending.

If anyone has questions or concerns, they can contact the commissioner at 706.896.2276.

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