March 17th, 2020 – 6:48 AM
WZQZ Radio –
(Via WZQZ Radio) On Monday, at least five Chattooga County residents posted on social media that they had been tested for the COVID-19 virus. All of those tested are still waiting on test results to come back.
Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters issued a press release on Monday updating county government’s response to the coronavirus. The commissioner told WZQZ News that the reports would be released daily and passed along to local media.
At the time of yesterday’s report, the Northwest Georgia Department of Public Health said that there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chattooga County. However, health officials also put out a statement telling residents in Northwest Georgia that they should “assume that the virus is in their community.”
WZQZ will continue to bring you the latest, most accurate, local information in the upcoming days. We are rearranging our broadcast schedule to try to give the latest coverage. WZQZ will give updates in the morning newscasts and have hourly updates from noon until 5 PM each afternoon on the latest COVID-19 updates.
March 17th afternoon UPDATE:
Chattooga County is working hard to ensure the health and safety of our employees that deliver critical services as well as the safety and welfare of our residents. From March 16, 2020 until March 29, 2020, certain departments within Chattooga County will be limiting operations. All County facilities will be closed to the public but county employees will still be in their offices. Specific information for the departments is listed below. With the fluid nature of this pandemic, operations can change at any time. Chattooga County will continue to update citizens through local media channels and social media on the Chattooga County, Georgia EMA/ 911 on Facebook. Please contact the Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office at 706-857-0700 for more information and all department contacts and phone numbers are listed on our County website www.chattoogacounty.org by clicking on the Government Tab. Our intent is to update this daily with any new information or changes for departments that may occur.
0 confirmed cases in Chattooga County per Georgia Department of Public Health
Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office- The Commissioner’s Office will be closed to the public but will be accessible by contacting 706-857-0700 or 706 857-0701.
Superior Court—Please refer to earlier release on Superior Court Services
Clerk of Court Office— The Chattooga County Clerk’s Office will be closed to public access. We will be at work and able to help you by phone or through online services. See information below.
Clerk’s Office – 706/857-0706
Pay your (County) traffic tickets – www.payyourtix.com
Real Estate efiling & search – www.gsccca.org
Real Estate search – gasearch.kofile.us
Civil efiling – www.peachcourt.com
Probate Court & Elections – Our office is now able to accept credit card payments over the phone for the next 2 weeks. Marriage licenses may be applied for on georgiaprobaterecords.com. Call us at 706-857-0709 once completed and we can print the application and email it to you for signatures. You need to email the app back along with a copy of both drivers’ licenses. If you have been married before, email us a copy of your final divorce decree or death certificate. The cost is $66, or you may purchase a license for $26 with 6 hours of certified counseling with a notarized certificate.
All vital records may be ordered by email of snail mail. Send a copy of your photo ID. If by snail mail, you will need to send a check or money order for $25. We can accept credit/debit card payments over the phone.
All vital records may be ordered by email or snail mail. Send a copy of your photo ID. If by snail mail, you will need to send a check or money order for $25. We can accept credit/debit card payments over the phone.
New gun permits cannot be applied for during this shutdown. If you already have a license and your expiration date falls within this time frame, we will extend your expiration date with no penalty. Renewals are $30.
All voting has stopped, and the Presidential Preference Primary will be held on the same General Primary date of May 19.
Chattooga County EMA/911- The office will be closed to the public but citizens can access the non emergency number at 706-857-3400 or in an emergency call 911. Also please follow the Chattooga County EMA/911 Facebook Page for the most updated information.
Chattooga County Health Department- Currently, the Chattooga County Health Department is providing essential services only, such as for Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. We are trying to provide WIC via telephone with an online nutrition component. This can change quickly daily based on our role. Please call our office for details in place of coming into the clinic. 706-857-3471
Chattooga County Extension Service (4-H) – The Chattooga County Extension Service will be closed to public access but clients can call or email the office for assistance at 706-857-0744 or [email protected] All agricultural services, tests will still be processed, along with future programming. Residents can stay updated on resources through our webpage www.ugaextension.org/chattooga or utilizing the Chattooga County Extension Facebook page.
District Attorney’s Office— To be updated
Juvenile Court— To be updated
State Court – To be updated
Sheriff’s Office/Jail— Deputies respond to and meet with many citizens throughout their shift and often times within the citizens home. Sheriff’s Office staff have been asked to avoid shaking hands, stand about 6 feet away from citizens that they are meeting or talking with. Also, if you request a deputy for a report or other reason please step outside, if feasible, and meet with them. Deputies have been authorized to handle certain reports via telephone. These precautionary measures will not hinder or damper a criminal investigation.
Jail: Since we have a large population of individuals housed in a confined space, we will be taking precautionary measures at the jail as well. The one that will most likely affect family of incarcerated persons are revised visitation schedules. Also, services where outside individuals are allowed to meet with inmates i.e. church services and drug counseling services are suspended for now.
Registrar’s Office- This is the last week that we are allowed to issue Presidential Preference Primary Absentee By Mail Ballots. We will then not be able to issue any absentee ballots until March 31, which will either be a combined ballot (containing both the Presidential Preference Primary and General Primary) or General Primary only. This means that after Friday, voters will not be able to vote two different parties for these two different elections. Our office will be available by phone, fax, and email to receive applications for Absentee by Mail Ballots to ensure that voters who wish to receive a Presidential Preference Primary only ballot are able to do so before the deadline. While it might pose some inconveniences to our voters, our office will be closed to the public but will continue to process applications received through the mail, fax, and email. Next week, we are not able to mail any ballots, but we will come into the office to process the back log of applications for voter registration and name/address changes. We intend to remain closed to the public during the next two weeks but will continue to mail out ballots and ballot requests as necessary.
Public Works—Chattooga County Public Works will continue to operate with appropriate distancing procedures in place.
Chattooga County Sanitation and Remote Dump Sites— The Transfer Station will remain open and the Remote Dump sites will remain open. Remote Site attendants have been directed to keep a safe distance and not assist with dumping trash or recycling material. Citizens will need to be able to dispose of their refuse and recyclable items without the assistance of the attendants.
Tax Assessors’ Office—Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, the Chattooga County Tax Assessors’ office, located at the Chattooga County Courthouse Annex, will be closed to public access. Citizens can visit https://www.qpublic.net/chattooga to determine a method of application and/or delivery for Real Property Returns, Personal Property Returns, Homestead Exemption Applications, etc., which will still be accepted. The property appraisal staff will continue to visit properties during this time but will refrain from as much face-to-face interaction as possible.
Tax Commissioner’s Office—The Chattooga County Tax Commissioner’s office, including the tag and property tax offices, will be closed to public access. We strongly encourage all tag renewals and property tax payments to be made through our website at www.chattoogatax.com . To help our customers, beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 we will waive late penalties on payments and the credit card transaction fee on online payment will be waived for property taxes. Mobile Home property taxes that are due April1 will be extended to April 15th and Fi Fas will not be filed until April.
Magistrate Court—The Magistrate Court will work with the Superior Court and the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office to ensure the safety of all citizens who use Magistrate Court and our employees. We realize this may delay the scheduling of cases beyond the normal times and hope that the citizens understand the reason why. We continue to monitor the situation and appreciate the understanding of our customers. Citizens are urged to call our office if they have any questions or concerns.
Chattooga County Animal Control– We currently are asking all citizens who wish to surrender a pet to call and make an appointment. We will take all the information needed over the phone for the surrender and email a surrender form to be signed and sent back. When you arrive, we ask that you please stay in the vehicle and call the shelter at 706-857-0679. We will come out to the vehicle to retrieve the animal and complete the process.
Chattooga County Water Department—The Chattooga County Water Department will continue to offer current level of services as long as staffing is available to support. They request that customers attempt to make payments via mail, online, or by telephone instead of in-person, if possible. Any customers wishing to start a new service should make the initial request via telephone at 706-734-2827 as opposed to in-person. In some instances, the transaction may be completed without an in-person visit. At any rate, the initial phone can provide an opportunity to share any information necessary to minimize the amount of time required in the office.
Chattooga County Senior Center- The Chattooga County Senior Center will be closed for activities for the next two weeks. Home meal delivery will continue.
Chattooga County Agricultural Center- The Ag Center will be closed for two weeks
Chattooga County Civic Center- The Civic Center will be closed for two weeks.
Chattooga County EOA Office- Will continue to be open
Chattooga County Library- (Trion and Summerville Locations) – The library will be closed for the next two weeks.
Chattooga County Transit- We will be transporting Dialysis patients to and from the dialysis center until further notice.