Monday, May 25, 2020

Republican Ballots Dominated First Week Of Early Voting In Oconee County, But Democratic Ballots More Pronounced In Absentee Counts

***Early Voting For June 9 Election Continues Tuesday***

Nine out of 10 of those who participated in the first week of In-Person early voting in Oconee County used the Republican ballot, but less than two-thirds of those who had turned in an Absentee ballot by the end of last week had used the Republican ballot.

Early In-Person voting has been light, with only 533 persons showing up at the Board of Elections and Registration Office across from the Courthouse in Watkinsville to cast a ballot by the end of the day on Friday.

Department Of Public Health Lists 14 New Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In Monday Report For Northeast Health District

***Oconee Adds Two Cases***

The Northeast Health District added 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Department of Public Health’s Daily Status Report issued at 1 p.m. on Memorial Day.

That number of new cases, which included two from both Oconee and Clarke counties, kept the seven-day rolling average of cases at 25.0, just down from 25.3 on Sunday.

Oconee County Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Projects Short-Term Drop In Sales Tax Revenue, Commissioners Told

***Property Tax Rate Remains Unchanged***

Oconee County Finance Director Wes Geddings last week presented the Board of Commissioners with a $53.3 million Proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Budget that anticipates a 10.4 percent drop in sales tax revenue but includes no increase in the property tax rate.

The budget includes no new positions and a modification of health care options that holds the increase of costs to 5 percent, Geddings told the Board at the first hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Budget.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Fifteen New Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 Included In The Sunday Daily Status Report For Northeast Health District

***Oconee Does Not Add Cases***

Clarke County added four cases of COVID-19 in the Daily Status Report released by the Department of Public Health at 1 p.m. on Sunday, and the whole 10-county Northeast Health District added 15 cases.

The seven-day rolling average of cases added in the District increased from 22.9 cases per day on Saturday to 25.3 on Sunday. Oconee County did not add any new cases on Sunday, and its total stands at 103 cases since the state began monitoring the disease back in March.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Northeast Health District Adds Five Deaths Attributed To COVID-19, Including One In Oconee County

***Rolling Average Of Confirmed Cases Increases***

The 10-county Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health added five deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Daily Status Report on Saturday, the largest number ever added in a single day in the District.

Included was one death in Oconee County, two in Barrow County, one in Jackson County and one in Walton County.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Department Of Public Health Listed 21 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Oconee County On Friday And One Additional Death

***Rolling Average Of Confirmed Cases In Region Increases***

Oconee County added 21 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one additional death attributed to the disease on Friday with the issuance of the 1 p.m. Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health.

That brings to 103 the number of confirmed cases in the county since the Department of Public Health began issuing its reports in the middle of March and brings the number of deaths to four.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Rolling Averages Of COVID-19 Cases And Deaths Increase In Northeast Health District

***Oconee Has Fourth Nursing Home COVID Death***

The seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths attributed to the disease both increased in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report for 1 p.m. on Thursday.

At the same time, the Department of Community Health is reporting that a quarter of the residents of the 17 area long-term care facilities on its list are COVID Positive.

Oconee County School Board Approves Agreement To Charge County For Use Of School Sports Facilities

***Gets Sales Tax Collection Update***

Participants in Youth Tackle Football and Youth Basketball programs of the Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department will be paying higher fees starting in a year because of an agreement approved last week by the Oconee County Board of Education.

The approval was the final step in a process initiated by Oconee County Schools to recover maintenance costs from the Oconee County government for use by the county of athletic facilities at county schools.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Seven-Day Average Of Added COVID-19 Positive Cases And Deaths In Northeast Health District Holding Steady

***Residents With Disease At Long-Term Care Facilities Increasing***

The Northeast Health District added 14 cases of confirmed COVID-19 with the 1 p.m. Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Wednesday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped to the level it has maintained for the last week.

The 10-county region added an additional death, of a 45-year-old female in Greene County with known chronic conditions, bringing the total number of deaths to 48 and holding the seven-day rolling average of added deaths at 1.1.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Northeast Health District Reports Large Increase In COVID-19 Cases; Disease Spreads Among Residents Of Oconee County Nursing Home

***Northeast Health District Adds COVID-19 Death***

The 10-county Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health added 43 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the 1 p.m. Daily Status Report on Tuesday, bringing the seven-day rolling average of cases up from 15.9 to 21.7.

Elbert County added 22 cases, Walton County added seven, Barrow County added five, Jackson County added four, and each of the other counties, except Morgan County, added one.

Oconee County Voters Opted For Republican Ballots In First Day Of Early Voting; Gonzalez Files Lawsuit To Force District Attorney Election

***Democratic Ballots Larger Part Of Returned Mail Voting***

Oconee County had 108 voters turn out on Monday for the first day of early voting for the June 9 election, which includes the delayed Democratic and Republican presidential primaries, state primaries, and nonpartisan judicial races.

Only six voters used the Democratic Ballot on Monday, with the remaining 102 using the Republican Ballot.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Oconee County Adds One New Death Attributed To COVID-19 In Monday Daily Status Report

***Northeast Region Adds 16 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases***

Oconee Country added one COVID-19 confirmed case and one death attributed to the disease in the Monday Daily Status Report from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The addition of the death of a 73-year-old male without chronic health conditions in Oconee County brings to three the number of deaths in the county attributed to COVID-19 and to 46 the number in Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Candidates At Oconee County Republican Party Election Forum Asked About Disputes Between County And School Governing Bodies

***Sheriff Candidates Questioned About Deputies In Roadways***

Disputes between the Oconee County Board of Commissioners and the Oconee County Board of Education played a prominent role in the candidate forum held by the Oconee County Republican Party last week.

Moderator Tim Bryant from Cox Radio’s WGAU asked about the relationship between the two governing bodies of candidates in the June 9 Republican primary for spots on the two Boards.

Daily Status Report Adds No New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Or Deaths For Northeast Health District On Sunday

***Oconee And Barrow Lose Cases***

The Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Sunday produced positive news for the Northeast Health District with no new deaths attributed to COVID-19 and a reduced number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the region.

For the second time, the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report either reassigned or disallowed two COVID-19 confirmed positive cases, one in Oconee County and one in Barrow County, with the 1 p.m. report on Sunday.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Two State Reports Add Three COVID-19 Deaths In Northeast Health District But Disagree On Where They Occurred

***Number Of Added Cases Four In One Report And 12 In Other***

In the Georgia Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Saturday, the Northeast Health District added only four confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, but it also added three deaths.

In the separate Georgia Department of Community Health Long-Term Care Facility Report for late Friday, the Northeast Health District added 10 COVID Positive resident cases at long-term care homes, two COVID Positive staff cases, and three COVID resident deaths.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Oconee Farmer’s Market To Launch 17th Season Saturday At Courthouse In Watkinsville

***Drive Through Only***

Oconee County’s Farmer’s Market will launch its 17th Season at 9 a.m. Saturday (tomorrow) as a drive-through only operation in front of the Courthouse in downtown Watkinsville.

Persons interested in purchasing from the Market’s vendors will remain inside their vehicles and enter the Courthouse front parking lot from Third Street.

Oconee County Added 14 New COVID-19 Cases On Friday And Has Three COVID-19 Deaths

***Area Hospital Critical Care Bed Availability Drops***

Oconee County added 14 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report at 1 p.m. on Friday, the largest single-day increase ever reported for the county.

The Department of Public Health’s Daily Status Report also added two additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Oconee County.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Rolling Average of COVID-19 Cases In Northeast Health District Holds Steady, According To Department Of Public Health Report

***Long-Term Care Facility Report List 16 New Cases***

The Georgia Department of Public Health added 10 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the 10-county Northeast Health District on Thursday, bringing the total number or cases in the region to 1,021 and producing a very slight increase in the seven-day rolling average of added cases to 17.9.

Barrow County again led the list of counties reporting increases, with six new cases. Oconee County, for the seventh day in a row, reported no new cases.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Oconee County Has Adopted New Procedures For Early Voting In Response To Pandemic

***PPE Purchased; Secure Drop Box Installed***

The county has put into place a series of precautions as early voting for the postponed June 9 Democratic and Republican primaries and the nonpartisan judicial races begins at 8 a.m. on Monday and runs through June 5.

A plexiglass screen has been installed at the Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration Office across from the Courthouse in downtown Watkinsville, separating office workers and voters to protect both from COVID-19 as the voting process begins.

After Adding Few Cases For Two Days, Northeast Health District Added A Record Number Of New COVID-19 Cases On Wednesday

***New Death Added In Barrow County***

After two days when the Department of Public Health added only three confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Northeast Health District, the Daily Status Report on Wednesday added 68 new cases, the largest number ever added in a single day in the region.

The second largest number added in the 10-county Northeast Health District was a week ago, underscoring the seemingly erratic but patterned nature of reporting of cases to the Department of Public Health.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Only Barrow County Adds Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Daily Status Report; Barrow Also Has Another COVID-19 Death At Nursing Home

***Hospital Bed Availability In Region Steady***

The Northeast Health District added only two confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, both in Barrow County, and the seven-day rolling average of confirmed cases in the 10-county region dropped to 15.1.

The seven-day rolling average of added cases in the Northeast Health District has declined in each of the last six days from 27.1 on May 6.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Northeast Health District Adds Single Confirmed Case Of COVID-19 On Monday But Adds Two Deaths Attributed To Disease

***Number Of Available Critical Hospital Beds Down Slightly***

The Northeast Health District added only a single case of confirmed COVID-19 with the 1 p.m. Daily Status Report on Monday, but it added two deaths attributed to the disease, one in Barrow County and another in Walton County.

The Barrow County death was of an 80-year-old female with known chronic conditions, while the Walton County death was of a 93-year-old female with unknown chronic conditions.

Oconee County Sheriff Candidates Say It Is Important To Get Deputies Out Of County Roadways When Possible

***Try To Dodge Dispute Between County Commission And School Board***

Oconee County sheriff candidates James Hale and Jimmy Williamson said they didn’t want to get involved in a dispute between the School Board and the Board of Commissioners and would continue to provide deputies to direct traffic at school entrances if elected and asked to do so.

At the same time, they said that having deputies in the roadway is dangerous and that they are in favor of road infrastructure changes, including roundabouts, that remove the deputies from the school entrances.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Average Number of New COVID-19 Cases Holds Steady For Northeast Region And State

***Discrepancies Between Two Health Reports Of Deaths Remains***

The Department of Public Health added 16 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the 10-county Northeast Health District with its noon Daily Status Report on Sunday, down from the 20 added on Saturday and from the 18 added Sunday a week ago.

The seven-day rolling average of added COVID-19 cases in the Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties, dropped just slightly from 18.6 cases per day to 18.3 on Sunday.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Average Number Of New COVID-19 Cases In NE Health District Drops; Oconee County Adds Second COVID-19 Death At Nursing Home

***Oglethorpe And Walton Add Deaths***

Each of the 10 counties in the Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health except Oconee County added at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 with the Daily Status Report issued just before noon on Saturday, but Oconee County added a second death at a nursing home.

The Oconee death at the High Shoals Health and Rehabilitation nursing home in North High Shoals does not appear in Georgia Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, which does add two new deaths in the Northeast Health District in the 24-hour-period ending at 11:25 a.m. on Saturday.

Friday, May 08, 2020

Number Of New COVID-19 Cases In NE Health District Declines In Daily Status Report; Four Deaths Added In Long-Term Care Report

***Oconee Sheriff Reports No New Active Cases***

The Northeast Health District added only eight new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report for noon on Friday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped from 23.6 to 21.3.

The 10-county Northeast Region that includes Oconee and Clarke counties added no new deaths in the Daily Status Report for the third day in a row on Friday, with the total number of deaths standing at 35.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Second Oconee County Long-Term Care Facility Joins Department Of Public Health List Of COVID-19 Positive Facilities

***Disease Outbreak At Winder Facility Reported***

The Georgia Department of Public Health added a second Oconee County facility to its Long-Term Care Facility COVID-19 Report late on Wednesday after a staff member tested positive for the disease.

That same report listed a Barrow County nursing home with 74 out of 115 residents and 23 staff members as COVID-19 Positive. On Tuesday, that same facility, Winder Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, had listed 15 COVID-19 Positive residents and 23 COVID Positive Staff.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Northeast Health District Adds 51 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases On Wednesday, The Largest Number Added In Single Day

***Oconee County Has COVID-19 Death In Nursing Home***

The Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 51 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 at noon on Wednesday, the largest increase ever recorded in the District by a Daily Status Report in a 24-hour-period.

Every county but one in the 10-county Northeast Health District reported an increase in cases, with Barrow County reporting 24 new cases.

Oconee County School Board Turns Down Request By Board Of Commissioners For Joint Public Meetings

***Wants Training Session Instead***

The Oconee County Board of Education on Monday turned down a proposal from the Board of Commissioners that the two bodies meet with the public in three Town Hall sessions stretching from this month through January of 2021.

Instead, the Board of Education accepted Chair Tom Odom’s proposal that he approach the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia about conducting a training program for the members of the two Boards.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Northeast Health District Added Four Deaths Attributed To COVID-19 On Tuesday, Largest Single-Day Increase In More Than A Month

***District Adds 16 New COVID-19 Cases; Seven-Day Rolling Average Drops***

The Northeast Health District added four deaths attributable to COVID-19 in the 24-hour-period ending at 11:25 a.m. on Tuesday, the largest number of deaths added in the District in a single 24-hour-period going back to the end of March.

A Barrow County female whose age is not known was listed in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Tuesday as a COVID-19 fatality. She is classified as having had chronic conditions.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Gov. Kemp Puts Off Election Of District Attorney In Oconee And Clarke Counties Until 2022

***County Already Has Issued 5,831 Mail-In Ballots For June 9 Election***

Oconee County and Clarke County voters on Monday lost the chance to select a new district attorney in November for the Western Judicial Circuit of the Superior Court.

Gov. Brian Kemp failed to appoint on Monday a district attorney to serve until a special election could be held on Nov. 3, meaning that no special election will be held.

Northeast Health District Adds Nine New COVID-19 Confirmed Cases; Seven-Day Rolling Average Of Added Cases Drops Slightly

***Sheriff Addes One Active Case On Sunday***

The first day of the work week generally is a light days for reporting for the Department of Public Health COVID-19 Daily Status Report, and the Northeast Health District added only nine confirmed cases in the report issued just before noon on Monday.

Oconee County did not add any new cases, while Clarke County added three cases and Barrow County added four.

Oconee County Plans To Have Government Operations Back To Normal By May 14, Commissioners Told

***Draft Budget Presented***

Oconee County will begin bringing its employees back to work with the goal of having county government operating under normal conditions by May 14, Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell said last week.

The county’s Parks and Recreation Department also will develop plans for a phased re-opening of the county’s parks, Daniell told Commissioners at the agenda-setting meeting on Tuesday.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Oconee And Clarke Do Not Add COVID-19 Cases, But Seven-Day Average Of Added Cases For Northeast Health District Increases

Greene County Adds COVID-19 Death***

Neither Oconee County nor Clarke County added any new confirmed COVID-19 cases with the Daily Status Report issued before noon on Sunday, but Barrow County added 10 cases and the Northeast Health District as a whole added 18 cases.

Greene County added a death attributed to the disease with the passing of a 47-year-old male with known chronic conditions, bringing to 30 the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the 10-county district.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Northeast Health District Adds 39 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases On Saturday, Largest Day-To-Day Increase Since April 7

***Clarke Added Five Cases, Oconee One***

The Northeast Health District added 39 cases of confirmed COVID-19 with the noon Daily Status Report on Saturday, the largest number it added in a 24-hour period since April 7 and the second largest number added in a 24-hour-period going back to the advent of the disease in the district on March 14.

Barrow County added 13 cases, Jackson added 10, Clarke added five, and Oconee County added a single case.

Friday, May 01, 2020

COVID-19 Deaths Reported In Jackson And Walton Counties; Oconee County Adds Five New Active COVID-19 Cases

***Northeast District Adds 24 Cases***

Both Walton and Jackson counties reported additional deaths from COVID-19 in the Daily Status Report of the Georgia Department of Public Health released just after noon on Friday.

A 77-year-old female in Jackson County and a 56-year-old male in Walton County were included in what now is a list of 29 COVID-19 deaths in the Department of Public Health Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties.