UPDATED: Community response to needs in Coronavirus shutdown

Community, News
South State

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.

Gilmer’s resolution makes county Second Amendment Sanctuary

News
Second Amendment Sanctuary

ELLIJAY, Ga – Gilmer County’s approval of the Second Amendment Sanctuary came last Thursday with all three commissioners voting yes for the resolution and sparking further debate over the issue’s future.

That resolution states, “The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners will not authorize or appropriate funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of any element of any unconstitutional acts, laws, orders, mandates, rules or regulations that infringe on the right by the people to keep and bear arms.”

Following the work session’s crowd of people and numerous people stating their support of the resolution, the debate arose on whether to adopt a resolution or an ordinance.

Jason Williamson spoke at both the Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Gilmer BOC speaking on the petitions gathered and the need to make this statement as a county. He said in the regular meeting that over 700 people had signed the petition asking for the Second Amendment Sanctuary status.

Taking a “proactive” approach, Williamson said he and others want to step out ahead of any problems which they see are inevitable in today’s political climate.

Jason Williamson speaks about the Second Amendment Sanctuary at the Commissioners' Thursday meeting, February 13, 2020.

Jason Williamson speaks about the Second Amendment Sanctuary at the Commissioners’ Thursday meeting, February 13, 2020.

However, Williamson was not the only person speaking on behalf of the resolution as Joene DePlancke was also present in both meetings to support it. DePlancke asked that everyone at the Regular Meeting who supported the resolution to stand and nearly every person present, filling over half of the County’s Jury Assembly room in the courthouse, stood.

DePlancke went on to say, “The reason that we feel so strongly right now is that, over the years, we keep losing more and more of our freedoms by not doing anything.”

More people spoke as well in the meetings saying they supported the resolution with one individual saying he felt it wasn’t just the Second Amendment, but rather all of citizens’ rights in the Amendments are under attack.

The commissioners assured citizens in the work session that this wouldn’t mean the county would stop doing background checks or gun permits, but rather would oppose any state or federal law that would infringe on the Second Amendment. The Resolution states, “All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, regulations that violate the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States or Article I, Section I, Paragraph VIII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia, violate the true meaning and intent of those constitutions are hereby declared to be invalid and are specifically rejected in Gilmer County, Georgia and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Gilmer County, Georgia.”

FYN previously reported that the board approved a resolution and did have some talk in their work session about looking further into the possibility of an ordinance. Williamson, as one of the leaders of the movement, stated before the meeting that he wanted an ordinance over a resolution because it would be harder to change and require more opportunities for citizens to fight any changes.

FYN reached out to Williamson after the resolution passed for his response. Williamson stated, “A resolution will suffice, but we will actively pursue the ordinance once we can navigate the state laws and create an ordinance that will reflect current law and assist in maintaining our rights.”

The debate continues to flow on social media as people on both sides of the debate offer opinions.

Gene Levine stated, “Even if it’s symbolic, do it. I think Virginia will be a test bed for the effectiveness of sanctuary counties, I hear something like 90 county sheriff’s are proposing this. I realize that the feds can enforce these laws in any of these counties, but they don’t have the resources to enforce these laws on thousands of gun owners and they don’t even know who has these guns.”

On the opposite side, Andy McClure stated, “It only states that no county official or employee can enforce any federal or state law that infringes upon the rights of Gilmer citizens. It does not mean that the state cannot send the GBI, or the feds could send the FBI or ATF to enforce such laws.”

As citizens continue the debate, it seems this issue is still not completed as the Commissioner’s left room to discuss a possible ordinance and some like Williamson have already said they want to pursue more in terms of the ordinance.

County Approves Second Amendment Sanctuary

News

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Officially, Gilmer County has declared itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary. With the urging of citizens and submitted petitions to the county, the vote came unanimously in support of a resolution declaring the official adoption of this moniker of Second Amendment Sanctuary.

County Commissioner Charlie Paris stated during the meeting, “This is, essentially, the very same resolution that was presented to us initially. We’ve just had two or three very minor, one-word type changes.”

Jason Williamson speaks to to the Board of Commissioners about the Second Amendment Sanctuary at Thursday Night's, February 13. 2020, meeting.

Jason Williamson speaks to to the Board of Commissioners about the Second Amendment Sanctuary at Thursday Night’s, February 13. 2020, meeting.

The minor changes were not unexpected as even Jason Williams, one of the initiators of the agenda item and the one who submitted the collected petition signatures to the county, told FYN last week that he expected the County Attorney, David Clark, to have a few such changes for legal wordings or clarifications.

Applause came from the crowd as the motion and second came and was finalized by a yes vote from all three commissioners for the resolution to support the second amendment in Gilmer County.

The county has approved a resolution at this time, but said they would look an actual ordinance change in time. Williamson previously said that an ordinance change is what specifically he wanted as it is harder to take out or change than a resolution.

Stay with FYN as we delve into the citizens comments and responses to the approval along with the actual resolution wording over the next few days.

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