By REBECCA HAZEN
In an announcement on Feb. 25, Governor Brian Kemp announced that vaccine eligibility would expand on March 8 to include adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their caregivers, parents of children with complex medical conditions, K-12 educators and school staff, and pre-K and Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) staff.
“Since mid-January we have seen a 70 percent increase in doses sent to the state, allowing us to make significant headway in the current 1a+ population. Thanks to encouraging allotment updates from the federal government and anticipated increases in our allocation over the next few weeks, we feel confident in expanding Georgia’s current vaccine eligibility,” Kemp said.
“There’s going to be a whole different wave coming into to get their shots. Just bear with us. We are capable of manning up to five lines now,” County Executive Ted Rumley said during the Feb. 25 weekly county update.
According to another press release, 2,048,591 total vaccine doses were administered in Georgia, accounting for 82.57 percent of the state’s shipped allocation. Georgia administered one million vaccines in just 25 days.
“With one million doses administered in just twenty-five days, we continue to make significant progress in vaccinating more vulnerable Georgians” said Governor Kemp. “Over 830,000 seniors have received at least one shot, accounting for nearly 60 percent of Georgia’s over 65 population. With the recent approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and increased dose allocation from both Pfizer and Moderna, the state expects more vaccines will be available in the coming weeks.”
In other Dade County COVID-19 related news, Rumley noted that there will no longer be drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Dade County, as well as in the northwest Georgia area.
However, there are still multiple locations in Dade County offering tests, including Lawson Medical, Price Pharmacy and Primary Health Care.
Dade County has seen 50 cases in the past two weeks, for a total of 1,097 COVID-19 cases. The number of cases can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.
Rumley encouraged people to apply for the Disaster Dislocated Worker National Emergency Grant, which is available for people who have been unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, contact Paula Stallings at (706) 657-4625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rumley also gave an update on Commissioner Allan Bradford. Bradford has been in the hospital for a few weeks, battling COVID-19.
“Allan did have a turn for the better. He got to see his wife and his daughters. They are allowing minimal visitation. He is able to FaceTime people. It’s really good. He’s got a long way to go though,” Rumley said.
Interim Superintendent Josh Ingle spoke during the county update, saying that early voting continues for E-SPLOST. Election day is Tuesday, March 16. Early voting days and times can be found at dadecounty-ga.gov.
“It is a one cent educational sales and use tax that is scheduled for five years. The maximum that we can collect is $16 million. There is language in the referendum, if the voters allow it, that would allow the school board the option to issue bonds,” Ingle explained.
Ingle continued, “This is not an additional tax, this is not a property tax. It is a continuation of what is already in place.”
E-SPLOST is a source of revenue for the school system. E-SPLOST allows the schools to purchase things such as capital projects, maintenance and repairs.
Ingle says that the school system intends to use upcoming SPLOST revenue for LED lights, ceiling tiles, and overall general maintenance, such as parking lot repairs.
Ingle also hopes to consider constructing a multi-purpose facility that could be used by several different programs, such as band.
Ingle encourages everyone with questions to email Info@dadecs.org or call (706) 657-4361.
Sarah Dyer, with the Dade County UGA Extension spoke about upcoming 4-H events.
Shotgun practices start March 2 and will be held regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to dark.
Also coming up is the 4-H Chick-to-Chicken project for students. Registration is open through Friday, March 5. Stop by the 4-H office to register.
“You purchase ten chicks. We will order them and they don’t arrive until May,” Dyer said. “From May to November, you will raise these chickens and then participate in our annual chicken show and the new Sale of Champions.”
For more information call the Extension office at (706) 657 4116.