March 18, 2020, 5:00PM
There was a meeting of all local emergency services, public healthcare providers, school personnel, and governing officials on March 16th regarding the Coronavirus/COVID- crisis. These essential service agencies and officials shared ideas and updated each other on their needs and plans.
The best and most current sources of information regarding the virus is available from the U.S. Center for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or the Georgia Department of Public Health https://northcentralhealthdistrict.org/coronavirus/
If you have symptoms of a virus, like a dry cough and/or fever, etc., you should contact your personal medical provider and follow the provider's instructions regarding testing. If you don't have a regular medical provider you should contact an urgent care, but call your medical provider or urgent care center before going to the office. If you don't have a personal medical provider or available urgent care center to contact, call 1-844-442-2681 which is the Georgia Department of Public Health's "COVID-19 Hotline". If you meet the criteria, your medical provider will advise you about how to get tested. We now know that there test kits available locally, but those test will only be administered under the instructions of physicians and then only when the criteria for testing is met. Obviously, if you are in extreme respiratory distress and it's an emergency situation you should go directly to an emergency room or call 911 for an ambulance.
The CDC is further advising that there shouldn't be any group gatherings of more than ten (10) people. They are also saying that if at all possible, people should stay at home for the next 15 days.
The following closures remain in effect at the present time:
- Putnam County Public Schools and Gatewood School are closed. The Putnam County Public School system will continue to provide meals for students at various locations around the county please check their website for those locations and hours https://www.putnam.k12.ga.us/keeping-you-informed.
- Grand Jury and jury trials for Putnam County have been cancelled for the next 30 days. Other essential court functions and Constitutional Offices in Putnam County remain open until further notice.
- The Putnam County Recreation Department remains closed.
- The Eatonton-Putnam County Library is closed.
We will continue to update information regarding other closures when we are notified of such.
I liken our current situation to an ice storm. When we have ice storms in Middle Georgia we are usually trapped at home for the duration of the storm and are usually without electricity. If there is anything good about this crisis, it's the fact that absent some other disaster, we will continue to have electric power.
This is genuine crisis and I implore you to heed the warnings and follow the advice the medical professionals are giving us. Our abidance of their guidelines may prevent further mandatory closures and quarantines being imposed by the state and federal governments. Most importantly, our voluntary compliance now may well save the lives of our fellow Georgians later.
Sheriff Howard R. Sills
Putnam County, Georgia
Eatonton, GA 31024-3637