Times office closes

Beginning on Monday, the offices of The Chatsworth Times will be closed until further notice, due to the coronavirus. We regret this situation but believe it in the best interests of our customers and our employees.
The newspaper will continue to publish on Wednesdays and the newspaper’s business, advertising and editorial staff can be reached by phone at 706-695-4646.
Advertising and subscription payments can be made by phone or by mail (Chatsworth Times; PO Box 130; Chatsworth, Ga. 30705.)

Langford: Jail visitation suspended

In accordance with Governor’s Office, the inmate visitation at the Murray County Sheriffs Office has been suspended until further notice. This is response to the COVID-19 pandemic currently affecting our great state and nation.
The Murray County Sheriffs Office will be conducting business as normal regarding 911 calls for service, extra patrols, investigations, jail operations, and assistance for our citizens. We will still be accepting normal bonding procedures for arrested persons.
If you do not have to come to the Sheriffs Office please do not. Any arrestee(s) will be screened before entry into the facility to aid in the medical awareness of our inmate population. Sheriffs Office employees are receiving personal protection equipment for this event.
The current crisis has prompted National, State, and Local responses to combat this issue. I along with you hope this will pass quickly. We urge everyone to follow safe practices as recommended by our health officials such as the frequent and thorough washing of hands, limiting contact with large crowds and other hygienic practices.
We ask our wonderful community to take part in looking after elderly citizens and those with underlying medical conditions. If you know of any elderly persons that needs assistance with transportation (doctors visits, pharmacy trips, needs for groceries, etc) please reach out to the Sheriffs Office starting on Monday 03/16/2020 at approximately 8:00 am, we will assist as best we can.
Lastly, I humbly ask you to join me in praying for all those affected by the COVID-19 virus, for our community, our state, and our county that we all love. May God bless you all and God bless America.
 
Gary Langford
Sheriff of Murray County
 
Jimmy Davenport
Chief Deputy MCSO

State parks, historic sites open for business

ATLANTA — Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are reminding citizens that all DNR-managed properties are open and welcoming visitors during normal operating hours. These properties include state parks, lodges, historic sites, WMAs, PFAs, archery ranges, shooting ranges, education centers, golf courses, and battlefields, along with those not directly mentioned here that are under the management of DNR. In addition, all DNR administrative offices throughout the state are open and operating during normal business hours.

The only DNR property currently affected by the Coronavirus response is a small, wooded, and very isolated section within Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, which was recently selected as a temporary location to house Coronavirus patients for monitoring. Less than one acre of the park’s 5,800 total acreage is being used, and security is in place to ensure there is no public access. At the request of the Department of Public Safety; Lake Rutledge Road, CCC Camp Loop Road, and the park’s boat ramp will be closed until further notice. The beach area remains closed for the winter season.

For the latest updates related to any Coronavirus impact on DNR operations and locations, visit https://gadnr.org/recent-press-release-dnr.

State postpones Presidential Preference Primary

ATLANTA — In light of the public health emergency posed by COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, in-person voting presents increased risk to voters and poll workers. Governor Kemp has declared a påublic health emergency. President Trump has declared a national emergency, said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “Events are moving rapidly and my highest priority is protecting the health of our poll workers, their families, and the community at large.”
Maintaining the integrity of the election depends on the talents of poll workers who are in the high-risk group because their average age is over 70. So concern for their health is a central consideration in this decision.
“Our priority is to protect the health and safety of all Georgians and to ensure that as many Georgians as possible have an opportunity to vote,” said State Senator Nikema Williams, the Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Continued in-person voting could compromise both goals. Georgians who have already cast their vote in person or by mail for the March 24 primary will be able to vote again in the May 19 primary for the elections already scheduled for that date. If Georgians who have already cast their vote for the March 24 primary do not vote again in the May 19 primary, their votes for the presidential preference primary will still count.”
Secretary Raffensperger has represented that all votes already cast in person and all absentee ballots will be counted and every Georgia voter that has not yet had a chance to cast a ballot in the March 24 elections will be able to do so on May 19, along with the elections already scheduled for that date.”
“Given these circumstances, I believe it is necessary and prudent to suspend in-person voting in the Presidential Preference Primary, and the local elections associated with them, and resume in-person voting for those elections as part of the already scheduled May 19 General Primary.”
The CDC recommends those, including seniors, who are at greater risk from COVID-19 limit their exposure to the virus by keeping space between themselves and others, avoiding crowds, and staying at home during outbreaks in their community. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has likewise identified individuals 65-years-old and older as facing increased risk from COVID-19. He explained that older Americans infected with COVID-19 stand a greater risk of serious difficulty and even death from the virus. All individuals should practice social distancing and minimize contact with others to minimize the risk to them and others.
With this decision, Secretary Raffensperger looks to confront the public health threat to our state, and the health of Georgians, while also maintaining an avenue for the people of Georgia to exercise their fundamental democratic right to vote. In the midst of a public health emergency like the one facing our state, taking strong action to protect all Georgians, including its dedicated poll workers, is paramount.
 

GNTCC cancels classes

Georgia Northwestern Technical College Community,

In light of the current health issues and concerns resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19), Georgia Northwestern Technical College has made the decision to suspend all instructional classes (credit courses, adult education, and continuing education), and activities on all campuses effective 4:15 p.m., Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 22, 2020.

Additional plans for instructional, academic, and operational activities beyond this period will be developed and communicated by March 20.  It is imperative that students diligently check their student email and all previously stated forms of communication (student email, GNTC website, Blackboard, emergency notification alerts, text, and social media) to ensure they are aware of the academic plan for their particular program.

All college personnel should report as usual on Monday, March 16, for individual departmental operational plans to be determined.  For this period, the college will close all operations at all campuses at 4:15 p.m. Monday-Friday.

While a variety of factors influenced this decision, be assured that the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is always our primary concern.  Georgia Northwestern Technical College will remain in consultation with the Georgia Department of Public Health and other state and local authorities as we evaluate this evolving situation.

We ask that the entire GNTC community continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines as shared by DPH and the CDC.  This remains a rapidly evolving situation and we know that members of our community will have questions that this email does not yet answer.  Students and employees should continue to monitor email and the Georgia Northwestern Technical College website, www.gntc.edu, for updated information and resources.

Heidi K. Popham, Ed.D.

President

School situation fluid

Murray County School Superintendent Steve Loughridge said the school system is conducting “business as usual:” but that could change based on what President Trump says during his national TV broadcast Friday afternoon.
Murray School will remain open until further notice, Loughridge said.
The superintendent said the decision to close school because of the coronavirus was his to make and that so far he did not believe there was a crisis situation that demanded closure.
Whitfield County and Dalton schools remain open.
Gordon County, Calhoun, Catoosa, Chattooga and Dade county schools have sent students home for at least one week.

AdventHealth Murray postpones events, sets visitor rules

As a precautionary measure, and for the safety of our patients, their loved ones and our team members, we will be postponing the following events:
• Maternity Fair
• Dinner, Doctors and Discussions with Dr. Stephen King
• Dinner, Doctors and Discussions with Dr. Adam Land
• Dinner with the Doctor with Dr. David Brannon
• AdventHealth Medical Group General Surgery at Calhoun Open House

New dates for these events will be released as soon as possible. Regularly scheduled support groups will still be held as scheduled.

“We are taking an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of our patients, their loved ones, our team members and our community,” said Brendan Nieto, administrator of AdventHealth Murray. “We’d like to thank you all for your understanding and patience during this time.”

AdventHealth Gordon asks that patients who are scheduled for an upcoming procedure keep their appointments as scheduled unless you have the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Per protocol, visitor access has been restricted and standard coronavirus (COVID-19) screening measures have been implemented. Until further notice, each patient may be accompanied by one visitor. Patients 16 and younger may be accompanied by two visitors. The Inpatient Entrance is closed, and all visitors will be required to enter through the Emergency Department Entrance for screening.

To minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19 and to help protect others, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose. If you are sick, we recommend that you stay home and minimize the risk of infecting those around you.

For more COVID-19 information, please visit www.coronavirussignsandsymptoms.com.

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Graves office in Dalton closed temporarily

Washington, D.C. – Effective March 13, 2020, the offices of Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) will be under a modified operating status due to the public health emergency. The Washington, D.C., congressional staff will be teleworking during normal business hours until further notice. The Dalton and Rome offices will be closed to the public.

The offices will continue working as normal on behalf of 14th District constituents during this time. The contact information for each office is listed below.

Today it was announced that all White House and U.S. Capitol tours have been suspended effective March 13th. The Capitol will remain closed to the public until April 1st, and the White House has not yet issued guidance on when public tours will resume. If constituents are interested in rebooking tours once the buildings reopen to the public, the office will resubmit all requests.

The Library of Congress and U.S. Supreme Court are both closed to the public until further notice. For an update on other tours in the Washington, D.C., area that might be affected by these closures, please check the following sites.

For information and updates about the coronavirus, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.

For state-specific updates, please visit https://dph.georgia.gov/.

State starts COVID-19 status website

 

ATLANTA – Today Governor Kemp and Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) commissioner, announced a daily status report page for confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia. This will replace nightly news releases from the Governor’s Office and DPH. The report updates every night at midnight to ensure accurate and regular information is provided to the public. The new tool can be found on the DPH website.

For accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Library reopening postponed

The reopening of the Murray County Public library has been put off until early April, according to Librarian Dianne Davis.
The library has been closed since January so materials can be moved from the temporary site at 100 N.Third Avenue in Chatsworth to the recently remodeled facility on Old Dalton Ellijay Road.
Davis said the regional library board voted on Thursday to close all libraries in the region until April because of the coronavirus.