Superintendent addresses schools after closure extension

Community

East Ellijay, Ga. – After the recent release from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announcing an extension of school closures, Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs offered an email for staff about the extension.

Downs said, “As you are aware, our schools will remain closed until at least April 26, 2020. This is an incredibly stressful time for everyone.”

Gilmer Schools originally closed until March 20, but mere days later, after an executive order from Kemp extended closures to March 31, Gilmer’s BOE went a step further extending it to April 3, 2020, butting up against their Spring Break, April 4 -12. Now, another order is extending it again.

Addressing concerns from students, parents, and citizens about upcoming events. Downs said that the board does not have answers for everything yet, but is working towards those answers while maintaining the current education cycle and Seamless Feeding Program for families.

Downs said, “I have received messages from students who miss their friends, have anxiety about their grades and graduation, and are worried about their own loved ones getting sick – all while still dealing with many non-coronavirus challenges in their lives. I have spoken to parents and caregivers who are worried about losing their jobs, paying rent, and providing 24/7 childcare for their children. I have heard from teachers and staff who have expressed how hard it has been to cope with the abrupt separation from their students while also dealing with their own family struggles. Sadly, things are likely to get even more challenging over the next several weeks. There are many questions about how extended school closures will affect school life like grades, promotion, prom, graduation, and so much more. We are working to develop the best answers possible to those questions.”

However, Downs went on to add a message of hope for staff. She thanked the educations staff, from teachers and administrators to office and support staff saying, “There is no doubt that we are in uncharted territory and an unprecedented time; however, fear will not take us anywhere. We need to be proactive and kind to one another as we stay as safe as possible. We are resilient people. We are all extremely proud of your commitment to our vision and mission during this most trying time.”

As the Superintendent, Downs said she was very proud of the teamwork and commitment being displayed not just to our school system, but to the community at large. She made special note of transportation and nutrition staff working in the Seamless Feeding Program.

Downs final note in the email came as a focus for the future:

Let us keep our current mission at the forefront of our minds:

1)      Teach our students to the best of our ability—We will face challenges and things will not be perfect. As long as we are teaching to the best of our ability and circumstances, we will be successful.

2)     Feed our students—Any hungry children that we might reach.

3)     Do our part to “Flatten the Curve”—Work from home, social distance, and for those still reporting limit contact as much as possible.

UPDATED: Closings and Cancellations due to COVID-19/Coronavirus

News
Break-In closings

Stay up to date with closings in Gilmer County and keep visiting this article daily to find out the latest closings and cancellations as they are announced.

 

UPDATED March 18, 2020 – Mountain Cinemas Close

In an email from Mountain Cinemas parent company, Georgia Theatre Company, the announcement was made for closings of theatres owned by the company. This includes Ellijay’s own Mountain Cinemas.

The company said, “Georgia Theatre Company puts the health and safety of our employees and customers above everything we do. It is with great regret that we have decided to close all of our theatres temporarily due to the suggestion of the President, the WHO and the CDC. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation very closely and will post the latest company news on our website. We will open to the public as soon as we can and will provide a safe and clean environment for you to enjoy all of your favorite movies in a communal setting.”

Additionally, they addressed concerns for those who may have already puchased advanced tickets. For those who have purchased tickets:

Purchases made on our website can be refunded at GTCmovies.com/refunds
For purchases made in person or on the GTC app, please contact your local theatre or send us an email at CustomerService@GTCmovies.com prior to the showtime on your ticket.

Calling the movie theater in Ellijay provides a similar response as they say they are temporarily closed and hope to be open again soon.

 

UPDATED March 18, 2020 – Gilmer Chamber closes for sanitization

President and CEO of the Gilmer Chamber, Paige Green offered a letter today explaining closings for the Chamber at both locations beginning today.
She said, “In an effort to protect our staff and to provide an opportunity for the cleaning and sanitizing of both of our facilities, the Gilmer Chamber and Downtown Welcome Center will be closed Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, March 22.”
The Downtown Welcome Center will remain closed through at least March 31. The Gilmer Chamber will be closed to the public (except by appointment only) beginning Monday, March 24. Staff will be working in the building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to answer calls and provide necessary services and respond to email.
Paige Green, President & CEO will also be available at 706-889-2889 for emergency purposes. Otherwise, please call the office between 10a and 3p Monday through Friday.
Paige Green, President & CEO- president@gilmerchamber.com
Ellen Grant, Membership Manager- membership@gilmerchamber.com
Lisa Salman, Tourism Manager- tourism@gilmerchamber.com
Caitlin Neal, Communications Manager- communications@gilmerchamber.com
Thanna Chadwick, Administrative Assistant- info@gilmerchamber.com
Additionally, the SBA is working with Governor’s across the country to provide federal assistance during this time to qualifying businesses and nonprofits.
You can learn more and register to receive updates at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance. Green said, “I strongly encourage all businesses experiencing economic injury to visit the site and register.  You will also find attached more information about the SBA disaster assistance funding.”
Green went on to offer the Chamber’s aid in these times to help spread updates, hours of operations, and garner information. She said, “We will continue to support our local businesses as best we can through this time.”

UPDATED March 18, 2020 – Gilmer ARTS adjusts cancellations

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop at a rapid pace, Gilmer Arts is following the advice of the CDC guidelines that have been issued to ensure the safety and health of our staff, volunteers, members and our patrons. As of Sunday, 15 March, the CDC has revised their recommendation to cancel all gatherings from 250+, to 50+ for the next 8 weeks. The Federal Government has suggested cancelling groupings of 10+. This will impact several events in the next few weeks at Gilmer Arts and at the George Link Jr, Gilmer Arts Playhouse. Here is list of events:
Spring Chorus Rehearsals/ Performance – Cancelled. (Check back for Fall schedule)
Storytelling (3rd Thursday of month) – Cancelled for March and April 2020
Acoustic Blends (3rd Friday of month) – Cancelled for March and April 2020
Volunteer Brunch (28 March) – Cancelled (will be rescheduled for a May date)
Exit Laughing (27 March – 5 April) – Postponed. Opening will be June 26th and will run 3 weeks
Auditions for Arsenic & Old Lace (14-16 April) – Cancelled (play in June will be replaced with Exit Laughing)
BEST Visual Art Opening and Show (17 April-20 May) – Cancelled. New date TBD
Meet the Author (18 April) – Postponed. New date TBD
Concert, Connor Lorrie (25 April) – Cancelled. New date TBD.
 
The above schedule takes us out for the next 8 weeks. As the advice from the CDC changes or as new State/Federal mandates come out, so may our future scheduling. Please check the website and social media sites frequently for any further changes or call the Gallery at 706.635.5605.
 As you can imagine, these changes are happening at a very fast pace. As soon as we have all the information, you’ll need for each show cancellation or change, we will provide updates and details to ticket holders directly through emails and/or phone calls. We will also continue to post the most up-to-date information on our website and social media pages. The Gallery will remain open for you to come see the latest art; however the hours will temporarily change.
The new Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday 12-6PM and Saturday’s 12-5PM. Please stop by and see the current Youth Exhibit through April. We rarely have more than 2-3 people in there at a time. We assure you we are doing are part to sanitize and keep things clean and sanitized for you. Also, some classes may still be available. We will update schedules as they change.

 

 

UPDATED March 17, 2020 – East Ellijay closes public access

Facing the concerns of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), East Ellijay has released information today about closings in the offices in the coming weeks.

East Ellijay has closed public access and is putting signage up to inform citizens. They are outlining a new process for contacting City Staff.

Additionally, Municipal Court, originally to be held on March 25, has also been canceled.

 

UPDATED March 17, 2020 – BOC Closes and BOE Extends Closing

closingsThe Gilmer County Board of Commissioners are joining the list of closings in Gilmer County this week as they officially announced today.

An email was sent out saying, “Due to the Coronavirus and for the safety of our employees the Board of Commissioners Office will be closed to public access until April 6, 2020.  For assistance please call 706-635-4361. Thank you.”

Despite the closure, the BOC will continue on with tonight’s, March 17, 2020, Public Hearing and Regular Meeting.

Additionally, Gilmer Schools, which have already been closed, is extending the closings

Many of you have seen Georgia Governor Kemp’s Executive Order mandating school closure March 18 – March 31, 2020. The Gilmer County School System will plan to remain closed until April 3, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Online learning opportunities for grades 6-12 and take home packets of student work for grades K-5 will continue at home during this time. Teachers will remain available by email and online learning regularly throughout the school day from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday-Friday. Teachers will hold designated office hours from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Seamless meals will continue to be provided during this time and will be coordinated through School Nutrition and Transportation.

The Administrative and Technology Offices (ATO) will be closed with staff working from home from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Friday and visiting the office daily only for short periods on a limited basis.

Schools will remain closed to all instructional staff. School level administrators will be working from home from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Friday to answer emails and make phone calls when needed.  School level administrators will be visiting the schools only when necessary for short periods of time.

The Gilmer County School District will remain closed for our regularly scheduled Spring Break from April 4 – April 12,2020 with students returning on Monday April 13th.  

This situation is constantly evolving as evident in how quickly things have changed in the last 7 days. We will continue to remain in contact with the Governor’s Office, Georgia Department of Education, and the Georgia Department of Health. As soon as we receive any relevant information, we will share it with you.

 

 

UPDATED March 17, 2020 – MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF GILMER ARTS

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop at a rapid pace, Gilmer Arts is following the advice of the CDC guidelines that have been issued to ensure the safety and health of our staff, volunteers, members and our patrons. As of Sunday, 15 March, the CDC has revised their recommendation to cancel all gatherings from 250+, to 50+ for the next 8 weeks. The Federal Government has suggested cancelling groupings of 10+. This will impact several events in the next few weeks at Gilmer Arts and at the George Link Jr, Gilmer Arts Playhouse. Here is list of events:
Spring Chorus Rehearsals/ Performance – Cancelled. (Check back for Fall schedule)
Storytelling (3rd Thursday of month) – Cancelled for March and April 2020
Acoustic Blends (3rd Friday of month) – Cancelled for March and April 2020
Volunteer Brunch (28 March) – Cancelled (will be rescheduled for a May date)
Exit Laughing (27 March – 5 April) – Postponed. Opening will be June 26th and will run 3 weeks
Auditions for Arsenic & Old Lace (14-16 April) – Cancelled (play in June will be replaced with Exit Laughing)
BEST Visual Art Opening and Show (17 April-20 May) – Cancelled. New date TBD
Meet the Author (18 April) – Postponed. New date TBD
Concert, Connor Lorrie (25 April) – Cancelled. New date TBD.
 
The above schedule takes us out for the next 8 weeks. As the advice from the CDC changes or as new State/Federal mandates come out, so may our future scheduling. Please check the website and social media sites frequently for any further changes or call the Gallery at 706.635.5605.
 As you can imagine, these changes are happening at a very fast pace. As soon as we have all the information, you’ll need for each show cancellation or change, we will provide updates and details to ticket holders directly through emails and/or phone calls. We will also continue to post the most up-to-date information on our website and social media pages. The Gallery will remain open for you to come see the latest art; however the hours will temporarily change.
The new Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday 12-6PM and Saturday’s 12-5PM. Please stop by and see the current Youth Exhibit through April. We rarely have more than 2-3 people in there at a time. We assure you we are doing are part to sanitize and keep things clean and sanitized for you. Also, some classes may still be available. We will update schedules as they change.
For Tickets you have purchased:
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Gilmer Arts relies heavily on donations and ticket sales for events. It is our hope that for all purchased tickets of a cancelled event or in the event that you are sick and cannot attend an event that you have purchased a ticket for, you will select one of the two options:
1.      Accept a gift certificate for the face value of your ticket(s) which can be used for any future event, performance or class at Gilmer Arts.
2.      Convert the ticket amount to a charitable donation.
We sincerely thank you in advance for your patience as we work through this challenging and unprecedented situation. Gilmer Arts is so grateful for the ongoing support of all our patrons, and we look forward to seeing you back in our venues when this crisis has passed.

 

 

UPDATED March 16, 2020 – Wine Highway Week Cancelled

North Georgia Winegrowers are disappointed to announce that the 2020 Wine Highway Week has been postponed due to recent guidelines announced by the CDC yesterday, “… large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals. Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.”
Our members are working together to reschedule this event to a later date.

While this sanctioned event is postponed, the following wineries will be open for the dates and times the event was scheduled:
March 20 – April 5, 2020
Monday – Fridays 1-5pm
Saturdays 11am -5pm
Sundays 12:30-5pm

12 Spies Vineyards and Farms
Big Door Vineyards
Cartecay Vineyards
Cavender Creek Vineyards and Winery
CeNita Winery and Tasting Room
Chateau Meichtry
Crane Creek Vineyards
Creekstone Winery
Currahee Vineyards
Twisted Wine Garden at Dahlonega Resort and Vineyard
Engelheim Vineyards
Etowah Meadery
Habersham Winery
Hightower Creek Vineyards
Kaya Vineyard & Winery
Odom Springs Vineyards
Paradise Hills, Cabins-Spa-Winery
Serenity Cellars
Sharp Mountain Vineyards
Stonewall Creek Vineyards
Sweet Acre Farms Winery
The Cottage Vineyard & Winery Inc.
Yonah Mountain Vineyards

We encourage you to support and visit these wineries.

 

 

UPDATED March 16, 2020 – Carter’s Lake and Gilmer Jail close

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – A new round of closings came today with several announcements in response to the Coronavirus and the increase in Georgia Cases over the weekend.

Along with closures over the weekend of county services and schools, new closings are continuing this week for the Gilmer Detention Center and Carters Lake.

The Gilmer Sheriff’s Office posted to social media saying:

In order to keep all inmates, our staff, as well as all visitors’ health in mind and in compliance with ‘social distancing’ due to corona virus concerns, the detention center is suspending all inmate visitations TEMPORARILY until further notice.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may call Captain Daves, Lt. Couch, or Lt. Smith at 706-635-4625.

Additionally, the new closings extend to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Carters Lake who posted yesterday saying:

With an abundance of caution and considering the concerns related to COVID-19 the Carters Lake Visitor Center will be closed March 16th-30th in a preemptive attempt to slow the spread of the virus. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Later, FYN confirmed that this closure is only the visitor center. The recreation areas are open, including camping. As of now, they will also stay open. But to avoid closed space and confining crowds, the visitor center has closed.

The Gilmer Chamber has closed its downtown welcome center in Ellijay to undergo a deep cleaning and to avoid exposure of the worker at the location who could be at risk. However, the main branch and welcome center will remain open.

Also, the City of Ellijay has canceled its March meeting for Monday, March 16, 2020.

Stay tuned to FYN as we continue to update you and post new closings from the community as they are announced.

 

 

UPDATED – March 14, 2020

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – More closings and announcements are continuing this weekend as another two county services close in response to concerns and State Government urgings to shut down to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

county services close closings

A statement from the Gilmer Animal Shelter announces closing next week.

The Gilmer County Animal Shelter announced around noon today that they would be closing “until further notice.”

The shelter is closing to both public access and volunteer workers. However, there will still be staff members taking care of the animals.

They stated, “We are only allowing staff to come in and care for our animals at this time. Animal Control will be running as normal. Calls will be returned as often as possible. Please be patient as we work through this.”

The shelter apologized for the inconvienice, but stated they are trying to both care for the animals at the shelter while also making sure the community is safe.

The statement also added, “Please know that we would never allow the animals to go without care.”

As county services close, it is not just in the animal shelter as the Gilmer’s Sequoyah Regional Library is also announcing a closure.

The general social media page for the the Sequoyah Regional Library System stated:

Out of an abundance of caution, all branches of the Sequoyah Regional Library System will close on Monday, March 16 until further notice. e-Library services will continue as normal. Advance voting will continue as scheduled at Ball Ground Public LibraryHickory Flat Public Library, and Rose Creek Public Library. Materials should be kept at home. Fines will not accrue while the library is closed. Please check this page for updates and additional information.

The post was also shared and copied onto the Gilmer Library page as well.

county services close

The Gilmer Library is not only closing, but cancelling events and programs next week for the Coronavirus.

This closure is not just a building closing however as the announcement is spreading to several events, services, and public access opportunities along with it. The Library has already announced the cancellation of the events “Journey into the Amazing Body!” and “Letters from a Confederate Soldier.”

However, a new post today came saying, “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sequoyah Regional Library System is suspending all programming, outreach, conference room use, and community room use beginning Monday, March 16 through the end of March. We will not be accepting community room applications at this time. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

 

 

 

ORIGINAL POST – March 12, 2020 – Closings and Cancellations due to COVID-19/Coronavirus

GILMER, Ga. – According to a release from Gilmer County Schools, the system will shut down with all school closings next week in the fallout from information and concerns over the Coronavirus in the county.

According to a public release from Gilmer County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, the closure will last from Monday, March 16, 2020, through Friday, March 20, 2020.

The release states, “Our school district is committed to keeping our community informed about issues relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). There are no cases of COVID-19 at any Gilmer County school and currently there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in Gilmer County. Our schools are not closing Friday, March 13, 2020, as we need to allow time for students and staff to retrieve needed materials and technology to be prepared for this closure. We will use Digital Learning Days during this closure for 6th-12th grade and paper learning packets for Kindergarten-5th grade to continue teaching and learning.”

Students will be retrieving these materials tomorrow, March 13, in order to follow these instructions next week. The release acknowledges that some hardships will come from this closure but said the plans are being finalized at this time.

While the current announcement is just for the week listed, Downs confirmed that future closings could be possible based on the need saying, “The district will continually review conditions and publish updates. Should additional closures be necessary we will notify you as soon as possible.”

The closings will not just be for students, however. All Gilmer schools and offices will be closed during the week along with all activities including athletics and extracurriculars including GHSA (Georgia High Schools Association) events  being cancelled, and additional closures could continue for these as well.

One point of note for testing, however, Downs said that, currently, SAT testing will still occur this Saturday, March 14, 2020.

With school closed, plans are being made to deep clean the schools and to provide meals in a similar manner to the Seamless Summer Program.

See the full release below:

closings

UPDATED: Community response to needs in Coronavirus shutdown

Community, News

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Despite threats, concerns, and stories about everything closing and shutting down for the Coronavirus, Gilmer County is rebounding in Community response for those in need of help or guidance during this time.

UPDATED – March 23, 2020 – Piedmont Mountainside Hospital Adds Mobile Unit to Expand Emergency Department If Needed Amid COVID-19 Response 

Mobile Unit for patients without respiratory symptoms; it is not a testing center

Jasper, Ga. (March 23, 2020) –Piedmont Mountainside Hospital has installed a mobile unit that can expand its emergency department if needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mobile unit, which is located outside of the Emergency Department, is not a COVID-19 testing center. It will be reserved for patients who are seeking emergency care, but who do not have respiratory symptoms.

“In addition to increasing capacity, the mobile unit will allow us to care for patients who don’t have respiratory symptoms in a different location from patients who do have respiratory symptoms,” said Denise Ray, CEO of Piedmont Mountainside Hospital. “Most importantly, this offers a way to make sure we’re able to offer high-quality care to people in our community in the most efficient way possible.”

The addition of the mobile unit is the latest of a number of efforts at Piedmont Mountainside aimed at protecting patients, visitors and staff from exposure to coronavirus.

From the beginning of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, Piedmont has worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies, including the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), to stay up-to-date with the latest information.

It’s important to understand that the situation is evolving every day, and as the CDC changes its guidelines, we, in turn, are updating our practices to follow the latest best practices and protocols.

 

UPDATED – March 18, 2020 – Chamber highlights for restaurants serving curbside and delivery

The Gilmer Chamber is again passing on information for those attempting to limits contact amid concerns for the Coronavirus, this time offering alternatives for restaurant food.

(The following information is accurate as of 10 AM on 3/18/2020. Lists will be updated once daily. Please stay tuned for updates and more info.) The following restaurants are operating curbside, drive-thru, and delivery services. Please contact the individual businesses for specific ordering procedures and information:

No photo description available.Abby’s Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt
A Little Baked Bakery
The Appalachia
Back Porch Bistro
Cantaberry Restaurant
Cartecay River Pizza Company
Cartecay Vineyards
Charlie’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria
Chateau Meichtry
Chick-fil-A Ellijay
The Chili Dog
Country Corner Kitchen
Dairy Queen
Double L Restaurant
Dunkin’
Ellijay Deli
Emily’s Bar & Restaurant
Engelheim Vineyards
IHOP
Krystal
La Catrina Tacos & Margaritas
Mike’s Ellijay Restaurant
Moe’s Southwest Grill – Ellijay, GA
Mr. P’s Takeout Food
The Pink Pig
R and A Orchards
River Street Tavern
Shane’s Rib Shack
SmokeHouse Country Grill
Starbucks
The Shack of Ellijay
Zaxby’s

Additionally, they also added a list of business operating AS USUAL during the virus.

The following retail locations are operating business as usual as of 3/17/2020. We have spoken with each of these business owners and representatives at length and we have been assured that these locations are operating with utmost safety standards. Please contact these businesses individually if you have any questions about how they can accommodate your needs at this time.

Ace Hardware of Ellijay, Inc.
Antiques on North Main in Ellijay, GA
Appalachian Beverage
Beds Etc Ellijay Ga
Black Bear Antiques
Circuit-World Ellijay
Hometown Florist & Yesterday’s Decor Furniture
Looch&Quigley
Lowe’s Home Improvement
R and A Orchards
MOUNTAIN LIFE Health Food Store
Mountain Treasures
Nancyfangles “Whimsical Creations”
North Georgia Gun Range
South Paw Natural Pets, LLC
Lavish Ellijay
TJ & Company Antiques

 

UPDATE – March 16, 2020

Despite Government offices and schools closing, Members from the Gilmer Food Pantry are trying to let people know that they are still open and serving the community for those in need.

If your church, community, gathering, non-profit, or any organization is also providing something to help over the next week, let us know at info@fetchyournews.com so it can also be added here to our list as the community response continues.

 

ORIGINAL POST – March 13, 2020 

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – More and more reports are coming in of counties, schools, courts, and governments shutting down over the next week in the face of the Coronavirus but we also are seeing a rising community response to the news as well.

Despite the disparaging news and rising concerns, community members and government entities are stepping up to answer needs in this time. FYN’s current understanding of two major developments for students staying home from school involve internet access and food for the time away.

Gilmer Schools already made announcements earlier this week about attempting to continue to serve lunches in a similar fashion to Seamless Summer.

Today, several posts are appearing on social media from parents and information pages. And Gilmer Schools have also posted confirmation stating:

Gilmer school buses will distribute meals Monday-Friday, including lunch and a snack in bags, that will be simply handed out to students to be consumed off-site at the following locations from 11:30 AM-1:00 PM:

-Tower Road
-Mulberry Apts
-Civic Center
-Penlands Apple House on Hwy 282, Tails Creek
-First United Methodist
-Lakeside Trailer Park
-Cherry Log Baptist Church
-Salem Church on Boardtown
– R & A Orchards
-Orchard Church
-Gilmer Schools Agriculture Education Center
-Carolyn Drive

Additionally, free WI-FI is being offered at locations around the county for students who may need access. According to Gilmer Schools, parents can park next to the facilities so students can connect to download work and check email.

Each of these sites are made available to help students as teachers and the schools attempt to mitigate any lapse in education as a part of the community response. As previously reported, Gilmer County Schools stated, “We will use Digital Learning Days during this closure for 6th-12th grade and paper learning packets for Kindergarten-5th grade to continue teaching and learning.”

If your church, community, gathering, non-profit, or any organization is also providing something to help over the next week, let us know at info@fetchyournews.com so it can also be added here to our list as the community response continues.

Judicial Order closes Courts in the Appalachian District

News
Judicial Order, Brenda Weaver, Chief Judge, Judge,

GILMER, Ga. – An order declaring a Judicial Emergency has been released from Chief Judge Brenda Weaver was filed today in Gilmer County regarding civil and/or criminal court proceedings in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit (Gilmer, Fannin, Pickens counties).

The order states, “The nature of this emergency is the continued transmission of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 throughout the State of Georgia and the potential infection of those who are required to appear in our courts and interact with large groups due to jury service, including grand jury service, or other large, non-essential calendars.”

As for the cases slated for next week, the order states, “It is the order of the Court that jury trials are CONTINUED, and no jurors or grand jurors shall report, and no jury trials shall be held for a period of 30 days from the date of the entry of this order.”

The order charges all parties and attorneys in specially-set hearings between March 13, 2020, and April 11, 2020, to contact the assigned judge for directions.

The order provides this list of the Amended 2020 Superior Court Calendar in that same time frame:

Additionally, the order calls for attorneys and clients to report and notify each other of any sign or showing of symptoms of illness, even mild ones, prior to or after court as well as any contact or exposure to a Coronavirus positive individual. The attorneys should then contact the judge’s office if this occurs.

The order also states a list of people that “shall not enter Pickens, Gilmer, or Fannin Courthouse or any probation office Pickens, Gilmer, or Fannin Counties, without prior permission from the Chief Judge.” Those people include:

  • Persons who have been in any of the following countries or regions within the last 14 days:
    STATE OF WASHINGTON
    NEW ROCHELLE, NEW YORK
    CHINA
    SOUTH KOREA
    JAPAN
    ITALY
    IRAN
    EGYPT

  • Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has been in one of the countries listed above within the last 14 days;

  • Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital, or health agency;

  • Persons who have been diagnosed within, or have had contact with, anyone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19);

The order charges Sheriff’s offices in these counties to deny entry to those in violation of this order. It also gives guidance to those under this order’s restrictions on the steps to take. Read the full Judicial Order below:

 

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School closed in Gilmer in face of Coronavirus

News
Gilmer BOE 2019, school closed

GILMER, Ga. – According to a release from Gilmer County Schools, the system will shut down with school closed next week in the fallout from information and concerns over the Coronavirus in the county.

According to a public release from Gilmer County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, the closure will last from Monday, March 16, 2020, through Friday, March 20, 2020.

The release states, “Our school district is committed to keeping our community informed about issues relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). There are no cases of COVID-19 at any Gilmer County school and currently there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in Gilmer County. Our schools are not closing Friday, March 13, 2020, as we need to allow time for students and staff to retrieve needed materials and technology to be prepared for this closure. We will use Digital Learning Days during this closure for 6th-12th grade and paper learning packets for Kindergarten-5th grade to continue teaching and learning.”

Students will be retrieving these materials tomorrow, March 13, in order to follow these instructions next week. The release acknowledges that some hardships will come from this closure but said the plans are being finalized at this time.

While the current announcement is just for the week listed, Downs confirmed that future closures could be possible based on the need saying, “The district will continually review conditions and publish updates. Should additional closures be necessary we will notify you as soon as possible.”

This closure will not just be for students, however. All Gilmer schools and offices will be closed during the week along with all activities including athletics and extracurriculars including GHSA (Georgia High Schools Association) events  being cancelled, and additional closures could continue for these as well.

One point of note for testing, however, Downs said that, currently, SAT testing will still occur this Saturday, March 14, 2020.

With school closed, plans are being made to deep clean the schools and to provide meals in a similar manner to the Seamless Summer Program.

See the full release below:

First Avenue bridge closed for repairs

News
Bridge Closed

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – The N. A. West bridge next to Hardee’s at the end of First Avenue is closed this morning, February 13, 2020.

Crews are working on the power poles on the bridge. Similar work is going on across the county this morning as Gilmer continues repairs and clean up from its recent storms.

While no official statement is available as to how long the repairs will last, the process is likely to last through most of the morning. The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office stated, “Hwy. 52 East is closed in the area of 1st Avenue down to the Hwy. 52 ramp area due to the traffic light and a utility pole both being down. Avoid the area and find an alternate route.”

 

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