Public officials weigh in on what rising COVID cases mean for Troup County

Published 11:00 am Friday, December 31, 2021

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As COVID cases continue to climb in Troup County, public institutions in the community accommodate to keep residents safe. The Troup County Government Center, located on 100 Ridley Ave., reinstated its mask mandate Thursday. LaGrange Police Department will continue requiring a mask unless an individual is vaccinated. Hogansville City Hall closed an extra day this week. The Troup-Harris Regional Library and the Troup County School Board are still actively looking at their options.

County Manager Eric Mosley said the government center will reinstate multiple policies starting on Monday, Jan. 3.

“Starting Monday morning at 8 a.m., a mask mandate will be enforced at the Troup County Government Center. [This] will include the side of the building where our courts are as well as juvenile court on the opposite side of the parking lot,” Mosley said.

“We’re going to get back to a weekly spraying in the building. During the Delta variant of the surge, we had someone come in, spray all the offices, spray all the common areas to ensure any potential viruses left behind would be killed or disinfected.”

Mosley said he has no intention of closing the doors to the government center now or in the future. He said this is based on how the building handled a rise in cases before.

“I’ll say this, Troup County Government Center, not one day were we closed. We have been open from day one, the doors have never closed to the public,” Mosley said. “There is no plan to close doors of the government center. [We] will continue to offer the same services to the citizens, even in the in the midst of COVID.”

Mosley said the mask mandate will be enforced by deputies stationed throughout the building.

“We have deputies that roam the building. We have deputies that are stationed on every floor at a security kiosk and so they certainly will be there to ensure the policy and procedures of the facility are followed,” Mosley said.

Chief Lou Dekmar said COVID-19 has affected some of his staff and the LPD intends to keep their current COVID measures in place.

“In the last month, we’ve had six [people] that have tested positive. Most have cold or moderate flu like symptoms. None have required hospitalization,” Dekmar said.

“We have it posted if you’re not vaccinated, please wear a mask. We require our folks if they’re not vaccinated to wear a mask.”

Rylee Govoreau, Local Government Management Fellow for the City of Hogansville, said on Tuesday via email that Hogansville City Hall would close an extra day due to the increase in cases.

“Due to rising cases in Georgia and an increase of travel and holiday gatherings, we are closing City Hall until Jan. 4. See you next year. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we continue navigating these times.”

Kate Chambers, Director of Youth Services for Troup-Harris Regional Library, said she is unsure how the rise in cases will affect the library.

“All we have for January is our story time and baby time are recurring events. We can distance those pretty well, but I also understand that parents may not be comfortable,” Chambers said. “We’re still kind of just playing it by ear.”

Chambers said they encourage patrons of the libraries to wear their mask. Their staff will be adding some measures to help prevent the spread of COVID.

“We obviously are encouraging patrons to wear their masks and us as a staff are wearing ours, especially when we’re in a close contact. [For example] like in the computer lab when we have to be really close with patrons,” Chambers said.

“We are taking some extra Lysol and sanitizing precautions. We haven’t really discussed more than that.”

The TCSS said the school system is planning to proceed with in person learning next week via a press release on Wednesday.

“While there is a rise in COVID-19 cases in Troup County, we are committed to a return to in-person education. All staff will report for work on Monday, Jan. 3. Students will return to school on Tuesday, January 4,” per the press release.

Mosley said he encourages all community members to get vaccinated if they have not already.

“The Board of Commissioners and I certainly want to encourage our citizens to continue to get vaccinated.” Mosley said. “It strikes close to home if you have a family member who is deathly ill or if you’re doing it in to protect someone who is at risk. The county earlier this year offered vaccination incentives to its employees.”

Mosley said the incentives will be reinstated and the deadline will be Feb. 28 for eligible employees.

“We have agreed to just stretch that out a bit and allow a little more flexibility. We’re going to provide a second deadline of Feb. 28,” Mosley said. “We hope to push it out to our staff and encourage them to be vaccinated.”