By REBECCA HAZEN
Some businesses and departments in Dade County have started to close to the public, with others implementing additional COVID-19 visiting procedures, as the number of cases continue to rise, according to the Thursday, Aug. 19 weekly Dade County update.
The Dade County Senior Center is closed until further notice, however, transportation is still available. For the Senior Center, call (706) 657-7434. For transportation needs, call (706) 657-8277.
The Bank of Dade closed its main lobby as of Monday. The bank encourages customers to use the drive-through locations, online and mobile banking applications, as well as calling for any services needed.
Tax Commissioner Angie Galloway reminds everyone that there is an outside walk-up window at the Tax Office, for those who do not want to come inside. The window is open Monday through Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m., and 2 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays. For more information call (706) 657-7563.
The Sheriff’s Office lobby is closed until further notice. Please call (706) 657-3233 for questions or to make an appointment.
Masks are required for everyone who enters the Courts Facility, regardless of vaccination status.
All other departments are operating normally at this time, but County Executive Ted Rumley said he expects more changes as the weeks go on.
Dade County has seen 122 cases in the past two weeks, for a total of 1,422 COVID-19 cases. The number of cases can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.
“The numbers, almost every 48 hours they are increasing,” Rumley said. “Just don’t block it out like it’s not there. It is real, and we have people right here that we know that are in the hospital. Just be careful.”
To put things into perspective, a month ago, Dade County had eight active cases.
“It took us nine months to see that kind of shift in numbers the last time, but with this Delta variant, they are going up much more quickly,” Public Information Officer Carey Anderson said.
“There is no reason to not get a vaccine. It is readily available,” Rumley said. “The big issue right now is everyone is wanting to get tested, and there limited places to get tested”
There is free drive-through COVID-19 testing at The Colonnade, beginning today, Aug. 25.
The testing will be available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Register online by calling (919) 351-6256.
“That is a long drive across the mountain, we are lobbying to try to get at least two days a week testing here,” Rumley said.
Other places to get tested (but charge a fee) are Primary Healthcare, Lawson Medical, Price Pharmacy and AFC in Lookout Valley, Tenn.
In other news, Rumley reported that Hales Gap Road would be paved later this year, around the middle of Sept. The project will be contracted out because the road department is shorthanded.
“If you know anyone who has a CDL, it’s a good paying job and it has good benefits. Try to help us find good people to work. We need about three people,” Rumley said.
The Trenton McDonald’s placed second in the Greater Chattanooga Area Day of Change. If each McDonald’s restaurant collected the equivalent of 25¢ more per day, RMHC could provide almost 38,000 more overnight stays for families with sick kids at a Ronald McDonald House. For more information, visit rmhcattanooga.com.
Save the date for the Optimist Bowling Tournament on Oct. 24. More information about that event will be released at a later date.
Smoke on the Square, a barbecue contest and fundraiser, will be Saturday, Sept. 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All proceeds benefit A Hand UP Ministry. For more information, visit ahandupministry.com. There will be a kid zone, arts and crafts, raffle items, live music, food, a cornhole tournament, and a barbecue contest. For questions call (256) 601-9739 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is also on Facebook, listed as SmokeontheSquareBBQ.