IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS: Click Here

Union County Government Offices-
Information Concerning COVID-19

For up-to-date information about Union County Government Offices and affiliated organizations, please follow the hyperlinks       

 

 

5/12/2020 4:30pm

The Governor’s order extending his earlier order for specific businesses can be found HERE.

The Governor’s order addressing the Department of Drivers Services can be found HERE.

Due to new testing criteria from Georgia Department of Public Health District 2 anyone with or without symptoms can now be tested for Covid-19.  Check out the details HERE.

 

5/11/2020  8:00am

 

The Union County Courthouse continues to accept visitors by appointment.  

Cushman & Wakefield have provided a guide to re-opening your workplace.  This comprehensive “how-to” provides detailed suggestions for all businesses.

The American Alliance for Museum Re-openings have provided special considerations for Museum re-openings in this peri-COVID-19 environment.

 

5/8/2020 9:00am

As businesses anticipate re-opening, some guidance has been provided by the National Retail Federation.  In a letter to the President of the United States, they provide written guidelines as suggestions for retail businesses.

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) has provided guidelines for re-opening from a commercial buildings perspective.  Information presented in the document represents suggested best practices and procedures and identifies questions and issues that should be considered.

Follow the number of confirmed Union County COVID-19 cases at the Department of Public Health website:  https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report

 

 

5/4/2020 8:00am

 

5/1/2020

– The courthouse will be open 5/4/2020 BY APPOINTMENT only.  If you need to take care of business in the courthouse, please call the office of business and request an appointment.

– The latest order signed by Governor Brian Kemp (and referenced in the 4/30/2020 broadcast) is now available in its entirety HERE.  Additionally, the restaurant guidelines can be seen HERE.  These documents were made available on today around 1:30pm.

 

Updated 4/29/2020 10:30am

– IT’S STILL VERY IMPORTANT, BUT who would have thought we would be watching a video on how to wash hands? This video from the CDC is informative and a very good watch for you, your family, and your employees.

 

Updated 4/27/2020 3:00pm

-For the latest in Georgia county status with regards to confirmed COVID-19 status, please follow this link:  https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.  As of the time of this post, there were 32 confirmed cases reported in Union county with 2 resulting in death.  

CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings:  CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

 

Updated 4/24/2020

Governor Brian Kemp signed a comprehensive order outlining specifics for restaurants, gyms, bowling alleys, etc.  You can read and print the document from here.

 

Updated 4/23/2020

The Georgia Board of Cosmetology and Barbering has issued guidelines for the re-opening of these services.  You can find those guidelines HERE.

 

Updated 8:00am 4/22/2020

Updated 9:00am 4/21/2020

-What does yesterday’s ORDER from Governor Kemp say?

  • It allows the medical industry to begin doing elective procedures again.
  • It opens such businesses as gyms, bowling alleys, theaters, hair designers, etc., under specific guidelines.
  • It defines Minimum Basic Operations.
  • It mandates that all persons should be remain 6 feet apart.
  • It defines Single Location.
  • It re-defines Critical Infrastructure.
  • It states that the Georgia Department of Public Health is partnering with the Augusta University Health System.
  • It gives the Department of Public Health authority to override local health authorities.
  • It gives the National Guard authority to enforce testing guidelines.
  • It states that cardiac technicians, emergency medical personnel, ambulance services etc., will be considered auxiliary emergency management workers.

 

Updated 5:30pm 4/20/2020

-The official “order” referencing Phase One re-opening of some businesses – signed by Governor Kemp today can be FOUND HERE.

-Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp, Duncan, Ralston, DPH, GEMA, and Georgia Guard to Provide COVID-19 Update at 4pm today. You can find the broadcast online at https://gov.georgia.gov/

-One challenge we face during a pandemic is dealing with our own mental health. Quarantining, isolating, covering, and social distancing takes its toll on individuals over a period of time. Please take care of yourself and check out this handout.

-We are Union County, GA and we will get through this!

The Maxwell Mental Health Clinic offers strategies on how to control stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. ( U.S. Air Force graphic by Senior Airman Alexa Culbert)


Updated 8:00am 4/17/2020

ABSENTEE BALLOTS.  The official Provisional/Absentee/Emergency ballots will look like THIS when they arrive by mail.  If you voted in the March 24 election, you will not have the Presidential candidates listed on your absentee ballot.

USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and
Communities Affected by COVID-19.  Find out more here.

 

Updated 8:00am 4/16/2020

– The Department of Public Health released new protocols for the testing of COVID-19.  Please read the memo released 4/15.

– The CDC offers a self-checker – allowing individuals to run through a series of questions to help
identify COVID-19 symptoms.  If you suspect you might be infected by the virus, go to this page and look for the “Self-Checker” box: —>

– The Association of County Commissioners of Georgia has simplified the Governor’s Orders for Shelter in Place.  The document clearly outlines the do’s and don’ts during the time period set for the order.  Please review this document for more clarity on the order.

 

 

Updated 12:00noon 4/15/2020

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other
social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and
pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of
the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from
transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household
items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an
additional, voluntary public health measure.  Learn More Here

COVID-19 Cases in the United States at the time of this posting:

  • Total cases: 579,005
  • Total deaths: 22,252
  • Jurisdictions reporting cases: 55 (50 states, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands)

* Data include confirmed, presumptive positive, and probable cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC, with the exception of testing results for persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China and Japan. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.

 

Updated 9:30am 4/14/2020

– U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide (PDF, 349 KB) is a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.

-For the latest in Georgia county status with regards to confirmed COVID-19 status, please follow this link:  https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.  As of the time of this post, there were 7 confirmed cases reported in Union county.

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Updated 9:30am 4/13/2020

The regular April 16 meeting for the County Commission has been canceled in an effort to maintain social distancing due to COVID-19.

The REGULAR MEETING of the Union County Alcohol Board scheduled for Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 4:30 pm at the Union County Community Center is CANCELLED in an effort to maintain social distancing due to COVID-19.

 

 

Updated 8:00am 4/11/2020

How Long Can COVID-19 Last On Surfaces?

 


Election Postponement Emergency Authority Explanation
Please find the press release from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announcing the postponement of the Statewide General Primary/Presidential Preference Primary Election until June 9, 2020.  The Secretary of State only had the authority to postpone the election date following Governor Brian Kemp’s extension of the public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020.  The press release provides more detail regarding the Secretary of State’s emergency authority to move elections.

 

Updated 11:30am 4/10/2020

From the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Sign up for alerts!!!!
Given the recent COVID-19 pandemic the Georgia Department of Public Health is partnering with Georgia Poison Center and PunchAlert to provide you with the latest alerts, information and recommendations from local governmental officials. PunchAlert is free and allows you to receive instant updates for COVID-19.

Text one of the following phrases to 77297:

COVIDGAGEN for General Public Messages (English)
COVIDGAESP for General Public Messages (Spanish)

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The chart below is meant to be used as a guide.  If you have trouble breathing or exhibit advanced stages of COVID-19, please  seek immediate attention.

 

Updated 11:00am  4/9/2020

The following information will help Union County residents more easily understand the legal orders of Governor Brian Kemp relating to COVID-19.  They are listed in chronological order beginning with the most recent.  To follow them in order, please begin reading at the bottom of the list:

05.28.20.02  Order extending some Shelter-In-Place requirements while further opening up some businesses.

05.12.20.01   Order extending some Shelter-In-Place requirements while further opening up specific businesses.

04.30.20.02  Order extending Shelter-In-Place for physically vulnerable individuals to June 12 2020.

04.27.20.01  Order providing more detailed information to the restaurant industry.

04.23.20.01  Order extending Shelter-In-Place for physically vulnerable individuals to May 13, 2020.  Also provides guidelines for restaurants, industry, commerce, healthcare, education, and local municipalities.

04.20.20.01  Order providing guidance to medical offices, bowling alleys, and gyms, as well as acknowleging the involvement of August University Healthcare as an authority for testing.

04.13.20.01   Order allows individuals to wear masks in public places if the mask is for the purpose of complying with the guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19

04.08.20.02  Order renewing state of Emergency through May 13, 2020 and extending shelter in place through April 30, 2020.

04.08.20.03  Order ensuring the safety of employees and residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities. 

04.08.20.04  Order suspending short-term rentals excluding hotels/motels and campgrounds.

04.08.20.05  Order calling up additional Georgia National Guard troops to assist.

04.03.20.02  Order expanding the definition of essential services and clarifying enforcement provisions.

04.03.20.01  Order authorizing county sheriffs and deputies to enforce all orders relating to COVID-19.

04.02.20.01  Initial order defining and outlining the following:

      • Declaring statewide shelter in place April 5 – April 13, 2020
      • Requiring GA citizens practice social distancing.
      • Declaring that no more than 10 people may congregate unless social distancing can occur.
      • Initially outlining “Essential Services” and “Necessary Travel.”
      • Outlining minimum basic operations for businesses.
      • Defining “Critical Infrastructure.”
      • Closing night clubs and restaurants for inside dining – allowing for take-out.
      • Closing gyms, bowling alleys and other inside entertainment venues.
      • Outlining exclusions for shelter in place.
      • Limiting visitors in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
      • Authorizing the Department of Public Health and Department of Public Safety to enforce orders.
      • Suspending all local city and county declarations and orders.
      • Declaring that violations to the order will result in a misdemeanor.

04.01.20.01  Order closing public elementary and secondary schools through the end of the 2019-2020 school year

APRIL 1, 2020 MARKS THE BEGINNING OF STATEWIDE ORDERS RELATING TO COVID-19

 

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Updated  11:00pm 4/8/2020

  1. The National Forest Service has announced closures in the state of Georgia.  Find that information here.
  2. For the latest in Georgia county status with regards to confirmed COVID-19 status, please follow this link:  https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.  As of the time of this post, there are 4 confirmed cases in Union county.
  3. Governor Brian Kemp’s April 8, 2020 orders in response to COVID-19:
  4. If you see businesses who are not complying with the Governor’s order, you can go to www.gov.georgia.gov   click on “Contact Us” and then click on “Constituent Services” which will take you to a form to fill out.Please include the following information in the report:
    1. Business Name
    2. Address
    3. Telephone Number
    4. Specific details for the complaint

 

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Updated 12:30pm 4/5/2020

The Union County Courthouse will be closed through Friday, April 10, 2020 for professional cleaning due to possible exposure to COVID-19. The office will re-open on April 13.  We apologize for the inconvenience, but everyone’s safety is our utmost concern.

 

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Updated 6:30pm 4/4/2020

On April 2, 2020, Governor Kemp signed an order outlining his expectations for Georgia citizens and businesses.  You can find that document here.

If you have questions or concerns about the information, you can contact Governor Kemp’s office directly at this location.

The phone number for Governor Kemp’s Constituent Services is:   404-456-1776.

Any and all local ordinances in the state of GA concerning the COVID-19 crisis are void.  All municipalities are required to refer to Governor Kemp’s order for direction.

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Updated 9:30am 4/3/2020

If you think that you may have the COVID-19 virus, you can receive advice and counseling at (844) 442-2681.

 

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Updated 11:00am 4/2/2020

Originally, the Union County Government planned to amend the original Declaration to address certain concerns locally.  Unfortunately, the Governor’s order of April 2, 2020 supercedes all local ordinances and therefore, Union County is unable to enact any document to address these local concerns.  We are staying tuned in to the Governor’s decisions daily.

An amendment to the current Union County Declaration of State of Emergency is forthcoming.  It will be signed and made available following the Georgia Governor’s talk today.

 

Updated 10:00am 4/1/2020

As reported by Union General Hospital:

Union General Hospital is providing notice to the public that it received its first report of a positive case of COVID-19 that is being cared for as an inpatient at our facility. This individual was admitted late during the evening of Tuesday, March 30, 2020. The patient was isolated in accordance with CDC and CMS guidance. The treatment plan has been implemented and is being monitored by the physicians.

Union General Hospital has been continuously preparing through its emergency operations plan for the likelihood of a COVID-19 patient. Our team has evaluated the hospital’s supplies, its cleaning processes, its staff and its capacity to ensure safe and effective care to patients. At this time, all suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are being treated in a designated unit away from our OB Unit and regular Med/Surg Unit in an effort to physically separate the patients. Union General Hospital maintains an experienced and well-qualified medical staff with quality facilities and equipment.

Union General Hospital will continue to evaluate any CDC and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance as this public and national emergency continues to unfold. Union General Hospital’s team, including the healthcare providers and first responders, are available to provide high quality and comprehensive healthcare to our neighbors in our region

 

Discussions continue concerning Union County’s next phase for protecting residents from the COVID-19 virus.  Several meetings are scheduled between County officials, other municipalities, and local organizations.

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Updated 8:00am 3/31/2020

Small Business Resources.  Mitch Griggs, Development Authority Director for Union County, explains helpful resources for businesses (large or small) impacted by the current circumstances:

 

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Updated 10:00am 3/30/2020

If you want to help with the #COVID19 response efforts, you can go to the FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency website https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help or register with the Georgia Department of Public Health‘s program Georgia Responds at https://servga.gov/

For the latest in Georgia county status with regards to confirmed COVID-19 status, please follow this link:  https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.  As of the time of this post, there are no confirmed cases in Union county.

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Updated 10:30am 3/27/2020

My business practices Social Distance.  New 11 x 17 poster can be downloaded HERE.

ATTENTION: Starting Monday, March 30, 2020, meals will be delivered to the voting precincts on Monday and Thursday from 12:00 pm till 1:00 pm. Voting precinct 1 will now be picked up at the Elementary School. All Woody Gap meals will be picked up at Woody Gap’s Gym. Also, you will receive an all call asking that you sign-up again for meals next week. Please make sure that you do this. Please continue to practice social distancing.

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Updated 2:30pm  3/26/2020

NEW POST:  There was a CALLED MEETING of the Union County Commission on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. located at 65 Courthouse Street, Blairsville, Georgia. The meeting was conducted on the front steps of the Union County Courthouse.

The purpose of this meeting was to approve Resolution R-2020-06 Declaring a State of Emergency in Union County, Georgia.

No other business was conducted.

 

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Updated 1:00PM  3/24/2020

The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline. If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.

Hotline:     (844) 442-2681

 

NEW POST:  Georgia Governor Brian Kemp spoke at 5pm on 3/23 to outline his plans for the state.  We strongly urge all Union County citizens to watch this broadcast online at this location:  https://www.gpb.org/coronavirus.

 

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Updated 3:30 pm  3/23/2020

 

 

 

https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.  As of the time of this post, there are no confirmed cases in Union, Fannin, and Towns counties.

Due to the public health emergency related to the COVID-19 virus, Union County Transit will be suspending service to the public effective March 23, 2020 until further notice. We regret the inconvenience this may cause our ridership and will be communicating future changes to this temporary suspension of service on our county website and our answering machine.

With an abundance of caution and in cooperation with Ga. Dept. of Community Supervision and CSRA  Probation Services, Union County has made the decision to suspend all community service work activity until further notice. If you are a current participant and have questions or community service hours are part of a recent court sentence contact your probation officer or community service supervisor Richard Griggs  at 706/897/2164. You may also reach me by E-mail : cssupervisor@uniongov.com

The Union County Tax Commissioner’s Office is no longer accepting any foot traffic at the courthouse office.  Please call the office or complete transactions online at this time.  Additional information can be found in the hyperlink to the right of this posting.

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Updated:  4pm 3/22/2020

For the latest in Georgia county status with regards to confirmed COVID-19 status, please follow this link:  https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.  As of the time of this post, there are no confirmed cases in Union, Fannin, and Towns counties.

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Union County EMA and the Union County Government wants to inform everyone that we have been in contact with the city government, emergency services partners and private organizations concerning the Coronavirus COVID-19. All organizations have attended conference calls to stay informed and to exchange information. We are recommending that everyone follow the guidelines provided by the CDC and Department of Public Health. Please visit their websites www.cdc.gov and www.dph.georgia.gov for more information and guidelines. This is a fluid situation with information changing by the hour. We want everyone to understand the decisions being made are not made lightly. They are made with the latest information possible and with the best interest of the people of Union County.

What should I do now?  The CDC explains that we should avoid large crowds and that we should practice social distancing.  Please consult the resources found below:

General InformationIf You Are Sick
What is COVID-19?Symptoms
More Basic FactsI have the COVID-19 Symptoms
Handwashing 101.Stopping the Spread.
CERC in an Infectious Disease Outbreak.

 

Announcements
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

There will be a CALLED MEETING of the Union County Commission on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. in the Union County Courthouse located at 65 Courthouse Street, Blairsville, Georgia.

The purpose of this meeting will be to approve Resolution R-2020-13 re-appointing Susie Phillips to the Union County Board of Tax Assessors. No other business will be conducted.

Attendees will be required to wear a mask.