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Banks County has first confirmed case of COVID-19

Banks County has its first confirmed case of COVID-19, according to the report from the Georgia Department of Public Health released at noon on Monday, March 30.

The latest report shows that 2,809 cases have been confirmed so far in Georgia, as of noon on March 30. On noon Sunday, March 29, 2,651 cases were reported.

There have been 87 deaths so far and 707 people hospitalized.

Counties surrounding Banks County also have reported cases, including Hall where 34 cases are reported, Jackson where two cases are reported and Franklin where three are reported.

Madison Adams hanging out with her favorite dog and her hoodie for Banks County High School's Virtual Spirit Week. Wear Your Favorite Hoodie was one of the days during the spirit week.

Gillsville closes certain businesses, stops public gatherings

The Gillsville City Council held an emergency meeting, via a conference call at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, to declare a public emergency due to concerns related to Covid-19.

The ordinance was approved to do “what is in the best interest of the community to keep people safe and stop the spread of the coronavirus.”

The ordinance calls for the following for the next 30 days, beginning March 26:

•there shall be no public gatherings on any property owned or controlled by the city. A public gathering is defined as a gathering of 10 or more people. This includes any park, public square, playground, recreation area or similar area.

•for the duration of the emergency, the town will not disconnect any public utility service provided by the town on account of non-payment. After conclusion of the emergency, the person will have a period of 30 days to make payments before the payment before the service may be disconnected.

•during the emergency, the mayor is delegated to assign town services as “required or discretionary,” to periodically review and modify assignments, to use discretion to permit employees to telework, to temporarily suspend the provision of discretionary services and to direct employees who provide these services not to report to work until such time as these service suspension is lifted and to contract for and expend non-budgeted items during the emergency (and report these items to the governing authority).

•restaurants and other eating establishments where food is served must cease offering dine-in services. Food may continue to be offered via delivery, drive-through or take-out services. Patrons, employees and contractors of these establishments must maintain at least six feet of personal distance between themselves and others. If a restaurant is licensed to sell beer and wine for on-premise consumption, such restaurant, during the effective dates of this ordinance only, shall be authorized to sell unopened bottles or cans of beer or wine for take-out consumption off-premises.

•gyms, fitness centers, pools, social clubs, amusement facilities, bowling alleys, pool halls, theaters, massage parlors, nail salons and any other similar facility used for an activity that involves prolonged physical proximity of individuals, and any facility used for entertainment, social, grooming or general health and well-being purposes, must close and remain closed for the duration of this emergency.

•all other businesses, not covered in this ordinance, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, must post signs on entrance doors informing consumers to maintain at least six feet of personal distance between themselves and others and shall not allow more than 10 people into such establishments at one time so that social distancing can be maintained.

•all public and private gatherings of more than ten people occurring outside of a household or living unit are prohibited.

•if the town mayor is unable to perform his duties, then the mayor pro tem shall assume the duties of mayor.

•the governing authority suspends the bid and competitive portions of the town’s procurement policy and authorizes the mayor to utilize the single-source policy and to require departments to provide a written justification for the procurement during the effective dates of this ordinance.

Harlem Legends fundraiser to be rescheduled

The Harlem Legends “celebrity basketball show” planned at the Banks County High School Gym on Saturday, April 18 has been postponed due to concerns with the coronavirus.

The event will be rescheduled to a later date, and anyone with tickets will be able to use them at that date.

Details will be announced when the event is rescheduled.

The fundraising event will be a basketball game between the Harlem Legends and Banks County Alumni. The event is sponsored by the constitutional officers of Banks County as a fundraiser for the Rotary Club’s Food-2-Kids project. All proceeds are going to the Food 2 Kids – Banks County Rotary Club’s service project - feeding 100 students over the weekends during the school year.

The Harlem Legends are a group of professional athletes, former players of the Harlem Globetrotters, NBA, NFL and past USA Olympians and other professionals.

Rotary past-president and Banks County tax commissioner Becky Carlan is helping to lead the project, along with Sheriff Carlton Speed and clerk of courts Tim Harper.

Grant Smith reading to Bella, during Leopards virtual spirit week.

County Annex, courthouse open by appointment only

The Banks County Courthouse and the Banks County Courthouse Annex will be open by appointment only as of noon on Monday March 30.

Call 706-677-6200 to make an appointment with the department of your choice or visit the website at for individual department phone numbers. Operating hours will remain at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Planning meeting postponed to May 5; BOC to meet May 12

The Banks County Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, will be postponed until Tuesday, May 5, at 6 p.m. due to concerns with the spread of the coronavirus.

The Banks County Board of Commissioners will also postpone the public hearing on these matters to Tuesday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the Banks County Courthouse Annex at 150 Hudson Ridge Homer.

For any questions regarding the meetings, contact the Banks County Planning Office at 706-677-4272 or the Banks County Commissioners Office at 706-677-6800.

BOC budget hearings set April 15-22

The Banks County Board of Commissioners will hold budget hearings April 15-22 in the County Annex board room.

The schedule is as follows:

•Wednesday, April 15, 10 a.m.

•Thursday, April 16, 10 a.m.

•Friday, April 17, 10 a.m.

•Monday, April 20, 10 a.m.

•Tuesday, April 21, 10 a.m.

•Wednesday, April 22, 10 a.m.