ATLANTA, Ga – Gov. Brian Kemp decided to continue the state of emergency and stay at home order for the elderly and at-risk individuals through July 12. However, the governor also announced the reopening of bars, amusement parks, night clubs, professional sports, and overnight summer camps.
Music venues must remain closed.
Kemp issued timelines for the lifting of each restriction.
May 31 Openings
- Overnight Summer Camps
June 1 Openings
- Gatherings of 25 people will be allowed – if the area meets space requirements
- Night Clubs
- Professional Sports
- Amateur Sports
June 12 Openings
- Amusement Parks
- Water Parks
Georgia will not mandate citizens to wear masks, but Kemp highly encourages everyone to wear masks in crowded areas and public places.
66 percent of nursing home residents have been tested for COVID-19. On June 1, the Department of Public Health will move to once-daily updates of coronavirus numbers.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee City Council met for its work session on March 30, to discuss the growing COVID-19 virus, strongly urging area visitors to stay away. Council members unanimously approved an ordinance to close all lodging facilities in Hiawassee, an act to discourage the influx of travelers seen in recent days. The 30-day declaration takes effect on the morning of Tuesday, March 31.
Restaurants are limited to delivery, takeout, and drive-thru only, and businesses offering personal services closed their doors following the city’s emergency declaration last week.
Towns County is expected to enact similar measures at a called meeting on March 31. Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales stated that the City of Hiawassee has been in constant contact with Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw and Young Harris Mayor Andrea Gibby in order to ensure “in-sync” actions with the jurisdictions. Ordiales added that the city has been in communication with the Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control, as well as Georgia Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Toomey who is leading the charge against the virus in the state. “The info is not good,” Mayor Ordiales grimly announced in reference to the statistics’ outlook.
Personal Protection Equipment is arriving daily, the mayor said, and 1,200 ventilators will be delivered in the state. Test results to determine if patients have contracted the coronavirus are typically taking two days, Ordiales said, and thousands of tests are expected to be analyzed as opposed to the hundreds currently conducted.
No curfew has been enacted in the City of Hiawassee at this time.
Councilman Jay Chastain Jr. asked City Attorney Thomas Mitchell if action could be taken to reduce the level of out-of-town shoppers at the city’s lone grocery store. Mitchell said that it could not be legally pursued, and as far as travel restrictions, local governments in Georgia do not have the authority to ban travel without consent from the state. The mayor and council stressed, however, that visitors are discouraged from venturing to the area.
Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith stated that a city officer is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19. The officer is currently quarantined and will receive testing in Gainesville on Wednesday. Serve-Pro is providing sterilization of the city patrol vehicles, free of charge.
Mayor Ordiales relayed that Economic Developer Denise McKay has been assisting small business owners in the area, working in conjunction with the Small Business Association.
The Hiawassee City Council meeting was live-streamed on social media to provide social distancing requirements for council and citizens. Although there are confirmed cases in bordering White County and Clay County, NC, Towns County remains free of confirmed coronavirus cases at the time of this printing.
Continue to follow FYN for coverage of Towns County’s amended emergency order in addition to further developments on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Feature Image Credit: City of Hiawassee
HIAWASSEE. Ga. – In recent days, FYN received a volume of reports from local citizens concerned with the surge of visitors from areas heavily afflicted with COVID-19. While Towns County is home to many part-time residents, several sweeps through the parking lot of the area’s lone grocery store on any given day or time confirmed a near 50/50 mix of local to out-of-state and metro-Atlanta license plates, with shoppers in search of food and supplies. Likewise, lodging accommodations are seeing a sharp spike in renters hoping to “shelter-in-place” away from urban environments. In an area that welcomes tourists with open arms, local residents are warning of potential repercussions in the midst of the pandemic.
In a Georgia county with the top concentration of senior citizens, the demographic most vulnerable to virus complications, some fear not only shortages but the evident health risks involved with travel. While Towns County remains free of a confirmed coronavirus case at the time of publication, health officials warn that it is a matter of when, not if, COVID-19 arrives.
In reaction to an FYN report from Chief Medical Officer David Rearick of Onecare who focused on the dire consequences that may be in store for Fannin and Union counties, Towns County residents weighed-in. “This is how we should be looking at it in Towns County, also based on the population and any people that have immersed themselves in our community to escape their own, only to bring it with them,” Kelley Denton wrote.
“I’m curious about something,” John Dills asked in a social media group on Sunday. “With the governor refusing to take any steps towards a quarantine, and tourists who don’t see the necessity of staying home, can our city and county officials do anything to stop the influx of travelers until this virus is under control?”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp stated in a press conference last Thursday that the decision to close businesses or implement additional measures has been delegated to local officials.
Across the state border in nearby Graham County, N.C. officials are doing just that. In response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in neighboring Cherokee County, lodging accommodations were ordered to close on March 23, and travel restrictions – allowing only property owners and those conducting legitimate business to enter its border – are scheduled to go into effect on March 27. For similar measures to take place in Georgia counties, a local declaration of emergency is the initial step in following suit. While Towns County officials have given no indication of enacting such at press time, FYN remains confident that local leaders are diligently monitoring the unfolding situation.
Last week, Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw stated that the county was in “phase one” of mitigation. “My department heads have been working on this for a couple of weeks for where we’re at right now, for these closings, how we’re handling it, how we’re handling our employees,” Bradshaw said. “If it gets worse, and it possibly could and we pray that it don’t, but if it gets worse and we get people in the county that’s affected with it and showing positive to the virus, we are working now – the department heads and myself – on the next phase.”
Towns County Emergency Management Agency stated on Monday that the issue has been documented with the State.
County officials continue to urge calm, discouraging citizens from engaging in online speculation.
FYN remains in remote contact with Towns County authorities on a continual basis, vowing to provide now-news updates throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Acting on a recommendation from the state’s Emergency Operations Command and ahead of heavy rains, strong wind and potential flooding from Hurricane Irma, Gov. Nathan Deal today expanded the emergency declaration to include an additional 65 counties. The state of emergency now includes all 159 counties in Georgia. State government will be closed Monday and Tuesday for all employees except essential personnel.
Following a briefing from officials and visit with emergency responders, Deal will hold a media avail tonight at the State Operations Center at 6 p.m.
Follow this link to read the executive order.
For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency website.
Hiawassee, GA – As Hurricane Irma churns through the “sunshine” state, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges residents, visitors, and evacuees to prepare for Tropical Storm conditions in northern Georgia.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for Towns County and surrounding areas as Hurricane Irma’s outer bands travel through southern portion of the state.
**UPDATE: The Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning**
Governor Nathan Deal has expanded a State of Emergency to include all 159 Georgia counties.
“Just because the weather appears to be calm now, don’t take that for granted,” Governor Deal warns.
Heavy rain amounts of 3-5 inches is expected locally, with sustained winds of 35-40 mph.
Computer models predict wind gusts exceeding 50 mph on Monday evening.
The risk to life and property is elevated due to expected tropical gusts and potential flash flooding. Do not attempt to travel during high winds and never attempt to cross flooded roadways.
Fallen debris is likely to occur and outdoor items should be secured in advance to prevent projectile damage.
If necessary to venture out, do not cross downed electrical lines and alert emergency services if one is located.
Power and communication outages are possible as the storm passes over the area.
There is no threat of tornadic activity at this time.
It is important to remain updated as weather forecasts are apt to change and additional developments may occur.
Follow Fetch Your News for local information as we track the destined to become historic hurricane.
Feature Image: wind forecast
The media won’t be happy until they see a picture of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto presenting President Donald Trump with the BIG check. You know the Publishers Clearing House size check that has written in the memo area “Mexico payment for the wall”.
Congress has to pass a spending appropriations bill before the end of April to prevent a government shutdown. Trump is asking for money to start the famous wall. You know the one, Mexico will pay for.
Attorney General, Jeff Sessions along with Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly stress we need to start construction of the southern border barrier now.
Sessions is determined to shut down America’s worst criminal gang MS-13. Kelly warns that the next major attack will come from terrorist groups like ISIS partnering up with Mexican drug cartels. Both Kelly and Sessions sound the alarm on the enormous amounts of opiates, heroin and cocaine coming across the border. Just recently Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed a State of Emergency to deal with opiate addiction problem.
The media keeps asking how we are going to pay for the wall? We have paid for the wall. We have paid with the blood of our children butchered by illegal alien gangs like MS-13. We have paid with the lives of our children who are dying daily from drug addiction.
Don’t accept your congressman asking how we are going to pay for the wall. Tell them they need to support the President and the wall is already bought and paid for!
January 21, 2016
Ahead of a second winter storm this week, Gov. Nathan Deal issued a new state of emergency for 21 counties beginning Thursday evening and lasting through Sunday, Jan. 24, at midnight. The emergency declaration extends to 21 counties under a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service. They include Banks, Catoosa, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Franklin, Gilmer, Gordon, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, Walker, White and Whitfield Counties. Deal continues to monitor an additional 24 counties, including those in metro Atlanta, under a winter storm advisory.
“In order to prepare for the second round of storms, I’ve directed state agency heads to encourage employees to telecommute where appropriate,” Deal said. “Capitol Hill agencies and other state government offices will close at 12:00 p.m. on Friday to allow time for roads and bridges to be treated in advance of possible freezing rain and snow. I encourage municipal governments and private businesses in metro Atlanta and other affected areas to follow suit. I will continue to monitor those counties under a winter storm advisory and revise my executive order as needed.”
The National Weather Service has issued the advisory for Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Elbert, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Jackson, Madison, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Polk, Rockdale and Walton Counties.
GEMA/HS and Emergency Operations Command will continue coordinating response efforts between the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Natural Resources.
On Tuesday evening, Gov. Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for 15 counties under a winter storm warning. These counties include Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Chatooga, Whitfield, Murray, Gordon, Fannin, Gilmer, Union, Towns, Pickens, Dawson, Lumpkin and White Counties.
“The winter storm is predicted to cause snow and ice accumulations on roads and bridges in affected areas, and the safety of our residents is my top priority” Deal said. “I’ve directed the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA/HS) to coordinate with the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Natural Resources to move assets to area where snow and ice are expected. GEMA/HS will work with local officials, including those school systems, to ensure resources are available as needed.”
Following heavy rains, thunderstorms, and flooding Georgia Governor has declared a State of Emergency in three counties in north Georgia, Fannin, Pickens, and Gilmer Counties.
More severe weather is in the forecast for Christmas day. Governor Deal has stated they will continue to monitor the situation. Additional counties may be added.