Judging from today's 3 p.m. COVID-19 briefing, Dade County remains in a holding pattern with no confirmed cases of the deadly virus even as statewide numbers soar. Dade County Executive Chairman Ted Rumley read the daily statistics: 32 deaths in Georgia up from 25 Monday, 1026 confirmed cases up from 772 Monday.
Dade is one of only two northwest Georgia counties that don't have corona viruses yet, said the county boss, and he think that's because citizens have been vigilant in obeying the stay-at-home and social distancing rules, though: "We still see more a little more traffic than we really need out there," said Rumley. With new guidelines from the governor, that should begin changing today, he said.
He said Trenton's Lineman Training Center had closed its buildings and was finishing out its current term with 100 percent field training. Students will complete their training strictly outside, maintaining the recommended six feet distance between them, the term will end a week early, and the usual graduation events have been canceled.
He thanked Wildwood LIfestyle Center, the north Dade Seventh-day Adventist treatment and medical missionary training hub, for volunteering its hospital space if and when the pandemic makes the move necessary. "They're good neighbors to us," said Rumley.
No one was present today from the Department of Public Health but Rumley invited all to watch Wednesday's 3 p.m. briefing, when a public health representative will be on hand to explain the new guidelines, do's and don'ts pursuant to the governor's Monday executive order. "They're going to be actually the enforcing factor of this," said Rumley. He said business owners and others who have questions might want to call the health department ahead of time to make sure their concerns are addressed. That telephone number is (706) 657-4213.
Rumley also mentioned that Cloudland Canyon State Park is still open. "The governor's not shutting any of our state parks down," he said, explaining the feeling was it was healthy to have places to go for fresh air and outdoor exercise.
As for Dade itself, "County business is going on," said Rumley. But county business with the public, he elaborated, is mostly going on through the new teller windows that were hastily installed in the Administrative Building during this crisis. Citizens may also call (706) 657-4625. "We're here for you 24/7," said Rumley.
Emergency Services Director Alex Case said the county had three roads closed currently not due to the coronavirus but to flooding caused by this week's heavy rains: Sells Lane, Cave Springs and the 1800 block of Creek Road. Tonight there is some danger of wind and rain, said Case, and: "They always have potential for tornadoes. That's just the way it is." He reminded all to: Turn around, don't drown.
He said in his other role as Trenton mayor that the city is passing an emergency resolution today echoing the governor's edict. More on that after the event.
Dr. Jan Harris, superintendent of schools, reminded all that buses will deliver school lunches next week but not the week of April 6-10, which is spring break so that the federal lunch program will be shut down. She asked local churches to consider covering that week with grab-and-go lunches for kids.
Maj. Tommy Bradford of the Dade Sheriff's Office reminded seniors of the SO's program of picking up prescriptions and groceries for those in need, but stipulated: "It's got to be prepaid before we pick it up." The only merchant that does that is Walmart in Tiftonia, he said.