Friday, May 8, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
Tifton Grapevine
Gov. Brian P. Kemp on Thursday encouraged all Georgians, regardless of symptoms , to get screened for COVID-19 ; meanwhile, another coronavirus death was reported in Tift County .

In a briefing at the Capitol , Kemp said Georgia has more than 60 testing sites throughout the state "with more supply than demand ."

A change in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now means Georgians without symptoms may contact their physician, local health department or use a free app from Augusta University to schedule a free COVID-19 test , the governor said.

As of Thursday evening, Georgia has conducted 225,937 tests. Kemp said the state's per-capita testing is now 29th in the nation, up from 43rd just a few weeks ago.

The Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH) reported Thursday that there were 31,603 confined cases of the virus in Georgia with 1,352 deaths. Tift County reported 139 cases and six deaths, one more than the previous day. Southwell health system reported 375 positive cases throughout its system and a total of 30 deaths at Tift Regional Medical Center , most of them involving residents outside Tift County.

The governor said more than half of the coronavirus-related deaths in the state are linked to residents in long-term care facilities . In its latest update, DPH reports confirmed cases have been reported in three Tifton facilities :

  • Tifton Health and Rehabilitation Center at 1451 Newton Drive has had 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its 78 residents, and two staff members reported as positive, the DPH said.

  • The Rehabilitation Center of South Georgia at 2002 Tift Ave. N., reported one confirmed case of a resident and one staff case.

  • Legacy Village of Tifton at 1934 Whiddon Mill Road reported one case each in its assisted living and memory care wings, the DPH said.
The Atlanta Constitution in October 1918 announced that the Atlanta City Council closed 'gathering places' for two months because of the flu pandemic. After two weeks, however, some of the businesses reopened for economic reasons.
Tifton Grapevine
As some Georgians continue to shelter in place because of the novel coronavirus and schools remained closed all spring, it's instructive to remember that this is not the first time that Tiftonites have faced such restrictions .

The Spanish Flu pandemic 102 years ago also touched South Georgia . The 1918 influenza pandemic , caused by an H1N1 virus, was the most severe pandemic of the 20th century and swept around the world causing about 50 million deaths worldwide and approximately 675,000 deaths in the United States.

Georgia was hit most severely in the autumn of 1918 . The flu surfaced in the Peach State during October in Augusta . From there it spread across Georgia.

On Oct. 18, 1918 , Tifton Mayor H.H. Hargrett ordered that all schools, churches , theaters and "all places of public gathering" be closed "until the danger of influenza passes ."

After an initial outbreak , flu cases seemed to decline in South Georgia within a couple of weeks , and some restrictions were loosened . But the number of flu cases rose again sharply after Thanksgiving , prompting Tifton City Council on Dec. 6 , to order that the city be "closed tight."

Press dispatches of the day reported that Tifton City Council ordered that, until the new year, all schools are to be closed , " public meetings of all kinds, including moving picture shows , are prohibited , and children under 18 years of age must stay outside of the business section of the city." Adults must " transact their business and go home ."

Everyone was encouraged to wear face masks made of gauze or cheese cloth, to thoroughly wash their hands and to "break the channels of communication,” or what we today call "social distancing."

More than 30,000 Georgians ultimately died from the flu from 1918 through mid 1919 , according to the University of Georgia . While only a handful of Tifton area residents were recorded as dying from the flu during the pandemic , more than 200 people died in Savannah and nearly 900 died in Atlanta . Every county in the state was recorded as having flu-related deaths .

In an echo of today's pandemic , there was no vaccine to protect against infection during the 1918 pandemic and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , "control efforts worldwide were limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as isolation , quarantine , good personal hygiene , use of disinfectants , and limitations of public gatherings , which were applied unevenly ."
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our Local Business Development Manager:
Southern Regional Technical College recently had the largest graduating class ever in the nursing program at the Tifton campus .

Twenty nursing students completed their coursework and clinical rotations during the spring semester. This class of nursing students will officially be registered nurses pending the passage of their board exams and will be invited to participate in SRTC’s formal graduation ceremony. 

The students who completed the program together were Samantha Adamson of Tifton, Sarah Alfau of Tifton, Colby Bearden of Sylvester, Rachael Boney-King of Tifton, Kayla Brantley of Tifton, Morgan Carmichael of Tifton, Casey Jones of Ty Ty, Cristin Langford of Tifton, Kimberly Lovett of Thomasville, Erica Morton of Norman Park, Sharee Penix of Moultrie, Alicia Reid of Valdosta, Felicia Richardson of Tifton, Isaac Soto of Moultrie, Beverly Suggs of Moultrie, Nariah Thomas of Ashburn, Mary Thompson of Lenox, Caitlin Tucker of Poulan, Stephanie Vinson of Valdosta, and MeLinda Williams of Ochlocknee.

Casey Jones scored the highest on the Health Education Systems Inc. exit exam with a near-perfect score of 1241 , which converts to 99.99 percent.

The Tifton nursing class was "a class full of trailblazers , forging a path of firsts. It was hard work , but I have a good group to rely on. We studied together as often as we could. I am so lucky to have been a part of that,” Jones said.

The program has been growing steadily in response to the demand for nurses . According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projections, registered nursing is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2026 .
While celebrations will look different this year without large gatherings, Southwell is observing National Nurses Week (May 6-12) and National Hospital Week (May 10-16) with creative ways to show appreciation to nurses and staff .

Nurses and nurse extenders will receive a gift and a personalized message thanking them for their work; each day during the week will have themes such as “Chill-Out Monday” and “Fun-Filled Friday” with different treats and snacks for nursing staff to enjoy on their own or in small groups.

Southwell will also be publishing several videos on social media featuring interviews with nurses , and the public is encouraged to share stories to of nurses who inspired or affected them.

For this year’s celebration of National Hospital Week , Tift Regional Medical Center employees will have designated days for ice cream and breakfast . There will be virtual games for employees, rather than the live games that are generally present at their family night event, such as “Who’s behind the mask?”
Jennifer Dorminey Herzog of Tifton was recently sworn in to serve on the 2020-2021 Association County Commissioners of Georgia board of managers as president of the county attorneys section .

"I am honored and humbled that my peers have allowed me to serve in this position and am excited about learning and serving alongside the other board of managers' members," Herzog said.

A partner with Hall Booth Smith P.C.’s Tifton office, Herzog focuses her practice in the area of government liability . She serves as the county attorney for Berrien County and assists with representation of Coffee, Tift, Ware and Ben Hill counties.

A Tift County native, Herzog is also trained in general mediation, domestic mediation , arbitration and maintains an active mediation practice in South Georgia .
Warren Robinson of Lenox recently released his third book and the second about his experiences during the Vietnam War "No One Has More Love Than This … Why We Remember."

Robinson , who was born in Tifton and is a retired president and CEO of the Bank of Lenox , is the author of "Remembering Vietnam: A Veterans's Story," and "Death Waits at the Depot."

His latest book not only recounts some of his own Vietnam experiences but includes memorial tributes of those with whom he served. Robinson calls the book "a great salute to the Vietnam Veteran ."
The Pacific Book Review said "The middle part of Robinson’s book is a series of vignettes of military officers who served in Vietnam. Robinson provides a picture, brief biography, and circumstances of each officer’s death. There is no finer way to honor these dead warriors than ensuring their lives are remembered. Reading about each man, and his contribution to our American lives, is a beautiful tribute."

In his introduction, Robinson explains his title "No One Has More Love Than This … Why We Remember," telling readers that love is more powerful than war.
This dog is currently on stray hold at Tift County Animal Shelter . If not reclaimed , will be available for adoption or rescue . If this is your pet, please call the  animal shelter   to claim,  229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch’s Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055   
Important Phone Numbers & Web Sites
Mary Cromer Shehee, 89, Sycamore
Wanda S. Mashburn, 65, Valdosta
Harris Herman Franklin, 88, Snellville
Jimmy Simmons, 40, Nashville
Amanda Lynn Benson, 31, Sparks

Raymond H. Pafford, 81, Adel
Gary Lamar Warren, 62, Alapaha
Yvonne Poole Rawlins, 83, Fitzgerald
Damion Johnson, 22, Jacksonville, Fla.

James W. "Jim" Carson Jr., 64, Leesburg
Carlese Smith Carroll, 63, Fitzgerald

Mary Belle Crosby, 95, Valdosta

Ruth Carolyn Griffin, 86, Alapaha
Faye Huggins, 81, Fitzgerald
Jeffrey Lee "Jeff" Johnson, 58, Nashville
Jean Griffin Dent, 84, Ocilla
Reuben E. Pitts, 84, Fitzgerald

Billy Mitchell, 83, Irwin County
Asher Megahee Paulk, infant, Ocilla

Teresa Diane “Judy” Roberts Rewis, 60, Tifton

Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
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Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
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