The Dade County Public Library announced this morning it would close after Tuesday until the end of March as part of the international effort to slow and control coronavirus. This presumably includes its planned Saturday event Read to Lead. The library will be open Tuesday, March 17, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. It is closed today, Monday, as a matter of course, as it has been since the Dade Board of Education slashed its funding in 2012.
The Dade Board of Elections closed down early voting for the presidential preference primary in deference to a decision by the Georgia Secretary of State's office to delay that primary until May 19, to coincide with the general primary. The Georgia SOS's office stressed that this is partially to protect poll workers from infection--many poll workers are 70-plus, a particularly at-risk age group.
Trials in Walker and Catoosa were affected by the general policy of closure and postponement, but the Dade court system is so far open for business as far as local personnel know--though they stressed that the situation changes hourly. A Superior court session is scheduled for Thursday--again, so far. But signs at the courthouse urge the public only to come in if absolutely necessary--call ahead to see if your business can be conducted remotely. The number of the clerk's office is (706) 657-4778.
The Dade school system is delivering free food to kids Mondays and Wednesday through the two-week school closure that started today. See previous article, or dadecountyschools.org, for the schedule.
Dade Senior Center activities are canceled for the duration. Dade Transit is still available to take those who need it to doctors' appointments. If you need a ride, that number is (706) 657-8277.
The Dade government is giving live-streamed updates at 3 p.m. every day on its Facebook page. At today's, Emergency Services Director Alex Case said Dade's Public Health director was in Rome receiving training on the crisis but offered some advice of his own to those who worried they might have symptoms of the virus:
"Right now there is no testing available here," he said. "Everyone does not need to be tested. Everybody does not need to run to the local clinic or the ER. Call your local physician if you have one." Case said doctors can give advice over the phone, and suggested treating flu-like symptoms with Tylenol and Mucinex. "If you have severe issues, please do not hesitate to call 911," he concluded.
Also at today's briefings, Dade Sheriff Ray Cross said his deputies will respond to calls by phone if possible, and if they must respond to homes, will ask residents to step outside rather than go inside themselves.
Dade County Chairman Executive Ted Rumley said that as of this morning, among the other northwest Georgia counties, Bartow has nine confirmed coronavirus cases, Flyd four, Gordon two and Paulding one. No cases have been reported yet in Dade itself.
Almost all public meetings are canceled, and nationally, people are being urged by health professionals and government at all levels to avoid public gatherings--this includes church--and in fact any group of people larger than 10, and not to hug or even shake hands with others.