Friday, March 20, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
TIFT HEALTH WORKER TESTS POSITIVE
FOR COVID-19
An employee of the HIV Clinic at the Tift County Health Department has tested positive for COVID-19 , the Ga. Department of Public Health  (DPH) announced late Thursday afternoon.

According to a statement by DPH's South Health District , public health officials were notified of the diagnosis late Wednesday . A 14-day incubation period of exposure will end today, March 20 , for the health department's staff and clients, the statement read.

"The staff member continues to be hospitalized and is not a resident of Tift County or a county covered by South Health District ( Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift and Turner counties)," according to DPH .

The department did not say in which hospital the infected worker is being treated or where the worker lives .

" South Health District officials have identified all contacts who may have been exposed while the staff member was infectious . People who were identified as having been exposed have been contacted directly by a South Health District official and are being monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms . There is no known risk of exposure to general clinic or WIC clients ," officials said.
CORONAVIRUS CASES
RISE IN ALBANY AREA
GOV. KEMP CITES 'SERIOUS' SITUATION IN DOUGHERTY COUNTY
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine

In a briefing l ive-steamed on social media Thursday , Gov. Brian Kemp said he was "very concerned" about the rising number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the Albany area as four of the 10 deaths reported in the state have been in Dougherty County.

Authorities say some of the Albany deaths are connected with attendees at two recent funerals .

“This situation cannot be more serious ,” the governor said. “ Stay at home if you could have potentially attended one of those funeral services .”

The four deaths in Dougherty County were all females , aged 42, 67, 69 , and 73 , state officials said.

The Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH) reported midday Thursday that there were 287 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Georgia with 20 of them in Dougherty County . Lowndes County reported six cases, and Lee County, three .

Because the DPH only updates its figures once a day at noon , the statistics don't reflect cases reported later in the day. Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany reported Thursday afternoon that it had four deaths and 43 total positive results for COVOID-19 .

Results that Phoebe reported include:

  • Total positive patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital19
  • Total positive patients at home21
  • Total inpatients awaiting test results at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital58
  • Total inpatients awaiting test results at Phoebe Worth Medical Center1
  • Total patients awaiting test results at home424

“We know we are not yet a t the peak of this health emergency.  More of the patients we are currently caring for will end up with positive COVID-19 tests, and more people in the community will contract the virus . We remain at a critical point , and we need the public to follow the guidance of the experts and do all they can to try to minimize the spread of the virus,” said Chief Medical Officer Steven Kitchen at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.
VIDEO: City of Tifton update on COVID-19.
TIFTON & TIFT COUNTY LIMIT ACCESS

In response to the growing concern over COVID-19, both the City of Tifton and Tift County governments are limiting access to their offices. Both governments are asking residents to conduct as much business online as possible.

City utility bills should be paid online or at the drive-through window or drop box at City Hall.

The Tift County Recreation Department is closed, as is Tift County Animal Control – including pet adoptions – until at least March 30.

For Tifton city questions, call 229-391-3957, or visit www.tifton.net

For Tift County questions, call 229-386-7856, or visit www.tiftcounty.org
8TH STREET SECTION TO BE CLOSED FOR SEWER MAIN REPAIRS
Beginning on Monday, March 23 , the City of Tifton will close West Eighth Street between North Park and North Ridge avenues , the city said Thursday.

The closure will allow repairs to a sewer main . The city is estimating the project will take seven days , and that section of Eighth Street is expected to reopen on Sunday, March 29.

While repairs are underway , westbound traffic on Eighth Street will detour north on Central Avenue to 10th Street and south on College Avenue to Eighth Street .

The detour for eastbound traffic is College Avenue to Sixth Street and then north on Central Avenue.
EDUCATION FOUNDATION AIDS
TCHS ROBOTIC TEAM
Dr. Kaylar Howard , a member of the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence board of directors recently presented $650 to the Tift County High School Robotics Team.

In the photo, Eighth Street Middle School Coach Brian Tapscott is at left with Howard and Northeast Middle School Coach Brian Saturday .

Students , from left on bottom row, are Warren Asonte, Jack Medina, Ethan Cotton and Caleb May ; middle row, Melvin Hines, Aiden Wright, Chase Walker, Emily Pate, Scout Saturday and Ethan Stalnaker ; back row, Damien Cruz, Valerie Lee, Paul May, Andrew Chapman and Andrew Taylor .
OCILLA SETS BLOOD DRIVE APRIL 2
The 5th Annual Glenn Roberts Memorial Blood Drive Is scheduled for 7 a.m.-7 p.m. , Friday, April 2, at Irwin County Hospital in Ocilla .

The blood drive is held in honor of Glenn Roberts , an  Ocilla businessman, 1977 graduate of Irwin County High School and an avid hunter and fisherman, who died on June 4, 2016

In his battle against cancer , Roberts needed many transfusions of blood and platelets . The Glenn Roberts Memorial Blood Drive is held in hopes of offering second chances to patients and their families in the community.  
 
Appointments are honored , and walk-ins are welcome . Generally, healthy people age 16 and older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood . A photo ID is required.

For information or to make an appointment , contact  Tammy or Traci at 229-468-9114 or email irwinchamber@windstream.net
A WINDOW ON THE WORLD
Bob and Judy Thomas of Tifton make the best of the current health crisis situation, visiting Judy's mother , Joyce Hutt , a resident at Tifton Health and Rehabilitation Center . The administration and staff there "are doing a super job during this time," Judy Thomas said. "They have set up the Zoom app , so we can 'facetime.' I really appreciate all they do to make this time easier on the residents  and the families ."
ABAC CREATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND WELLNESS
Students who want to become teachers now have a home in the newly created Department of Education and Wellness in the School of Arts and Sciences at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

“Our goal was to create a unit to give this group a home . We have moved them around a lot, but now they have their own department and a lot more visibility ,” said Dr. Jerry Baker , provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Baker estimates that up to 150 students are enrolled at ABAC in the early childhood or teacher programs. These students complete their freshman- and sophomore-level courses on either the main campus in Tifton or the ABAC Bainbridge instructional site. 

Junior- and senior-level classes in the major are offered at ABAC in Tifton from Georgia Southwestern State University. 

For information about the program, contact ABAC Associate Professor Donna Campbell dcampbell@abac.edu
CORONAVIRUS CLEARINGHOUSE
Important Phone Numbers & Web Sites
candle-flames-banner.jpg
MARCH 12
Rhea Roberts, 61, Nashville
Rayford "Ray" Wallace Mullis Jr., 77, Sylvester
Milam Wilson Wheeler, 79, Fitzgerald
Mae Ruth Purvis, 85, Ocilla
Huey Lee Cummings, 73, Ray City

MARCH 13
Sandra Sutton Fields, 72, Pink Hill, N.C.
Patricia Lynn Bargus, 61, Nashville

MARCH 14
Marquerite Westbrook 63, Ashburn
Diane M. Harris, 63. Ashburn

MARCH 15
Ralph Lamar Hall, 85, Savannah
Harriet Lavonda Brown McNair, 86, Valdosta
Kathleen Collins, Fayetteville, N.C.

MARCH 16
Ila Jean Miller Conger, 88, West Berrien
Dorothy “Dot” Joyce Griffin, 86, Lenoir, N.C. 
Forrest Hutto, 23, Fitzgerald

MARCH 17
Allen Wayne Pridgen 75, Tifton
Imogene Brickle Hasty, 85, Fitzgerald
Sara Grace Paulk, 84, Ocilla
MARCH 19
Mary Elizabeth Fender Thomas, 73, Nashville

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Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
A Service of Sayles Unlimited Marketing LLC , Tifton, Georgia