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What steps Hall County is taking to prevent spread of coronavirus, continue operations
03122020COUNTY
Casey Ramsey, director of the Hall County Emergency Management Agency, said Thursday at a Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting that county departments are evaluating plans to continue operation while preventing the spread of coronavirus. - photo by Megan Reed

The Hall County government is reviewing its practices to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and taking measures such as extra sanitizing of county facilities and offering some employees flexibility to work from home.

A local task force including city and county governments, school systems and the Northeast Georgia Medical Center has been meeting regularly to communicate about the virus, Casey Ramsey, director of the Hall County Emergency Management Agency, said Thursday. 

Each county department is reviewing its “continuity of operations” plan.

“We still have to run government. We still have to respond to emergency calls. We still have to run the landfill,” Ramsey said.

Working remotely will be an option for some employees, he said. 

The Hall County Sheriff's Office has canceled on-site visitation with inmates at the Hall County Jail until further notice. Online video visitation will be available. Residents are encouraged to limit their visits to Sheriff’s Office facilities, including the agency headquarters, north and south precincts and the Hall County Courthouse, if possible. 

“The men and women of the Sheriff’s Office greatly appreciate the diligence of our community as we take these precautionary actions,” Sheriff Gerald Couch said in a statement. “We have also taken sufficient measures to ensure the safety of our employees by following the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines. Although we are mindful and proactive when it comes to coronavirus, our trained and qualified professionals will answer calls for service without disruption.”

Social media should not be used to report an incident or request a deputy for assistance. For non-emergencies, call Hall County Dispatch at 770-536-8812. Call 911 for emergencies. Additional contact information is available on the Sheriff's Office website

Cleaning crews at government properties are being especially thorough with sanitizing and focusing on high-traffic areas and objects such as doorknobs and countertops, Ramsey said. Voting machines are also being sanitized throughout the day. The Hall County Government Center has been hosting early voting for the March 24 presidential preference primary.

Ramsey said any employee who has traveled to a Level 2 or 3 country as designated by the CDC will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days when returning to the United States.

Ramsey said officials are monitoring updates on the virus.

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