Over a dozen employees in the Murray County government — including the sole commissioner — have tested positive for COVID-19.
Commissioner Greg Hogan, along with County Manager and Finance Officer Tommy Parker, have tested positive within the past week. The local government announced the courthouse annex would be closed until at least Monday as it accommodates dozens of employees who have tested positive.
Hogan did not immediately return a call from the Times Free Press. He told the Daily Citizen-News that Parker was admitted to AdventHealth Murray with complications from pneumonia but started to improve on Monday and has not been on a ventilator.
In Dade County, Commission Chairman Ted Rumley and his wife, Diane, have also tested positive in the past week and are quarantined at home.
Carey Anderson, the deputy county clerk in Dade County, said both Ted and Diane Rumley are recovering at home.
"They are both self-quarantined, at home, and will remain so until released by the physician," Anderson said in an email Wednesday. "Both Mr. & Mrs. Rumley did or still do have symptoms of the COVID-19 virus and are recovering."
Dade County government told its residents after Rumley tested positive on Dec. 27 that business should be handled after the holidays due to a reduced staff.
Many counties in Northwest Georgia continue to struggle with a coronavirus outbreak.
Murray County hit an all-time high in new cases on a seven-day average on Jan. 4 with 42. Cases in the county have been rapidly rising since early December in the rural county and neighboring Whitfield County is still trying to deal with an outbreak that was the worst in the state for weeks after Thanksgiving. There was a three-day stretch starting on Dec. 30 when Murray County added at least 53 new cases every day.
Fifteen people have died from COVID-19 in Murray County since Dec. 7. The county has reported 41 total deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Comparatively, cases in Dade County have remained low. There have been seven-day spikes in December with 10 to 12 new cases on average and a nursing home in Dade County continues to struggle with the virus.
Residents who need to pay taxes or renew tags can do so at murraycountypay.com while the office is closed or drop off payments at the dropbox at 121 N. Fourth Ave.
Earlier this week, President Trump hosted a rally for GOP Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue at the Dalton Municipal Airport where thousands of people attended, many not wearing masks.
Elsewhere in Northwest Georgia, Blake Hodge — Walker County fire chief and Emergency Management director — received his first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, along with 46 other first responders in Walker County.
Contact Patrick Filbin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.