CLAYTON—Rabun County added 77 new cases of COVID-19 during the 14-day period between July 14-28, the Georgia Dept. of Public Health reported Tuesday.
As of Wednesday afternoon the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 172 cases in Rabun County.
Many of those with the disease have recovered since testing began in March. Three Rabun County residents have died.
Sheriff Chad Nichols said Tuesday there have been no COVID-19 cases among inmates at the jail, though one officer stationed there did receive a positive test result.
“So far on the sheriff’s office side, we have had to quarantine one entire road deputy shift very early on in the pandemic, but we were able to fill their shift by utilizing the School Resource Deputies (SRDs) until the 14-day quarantine was over. We currently have only one person at the sheriff’s office who has tested positive.”
The cumulative numbers for surrounding counties as of Tuesday were:
Towns: 107 cases
Habersham: 983 cases
Stephens: 506 cases
Macon County (N.C.): 431 cases
Oconee County (S.C.): 671 cases
So far in Georgia, there have been 178,323 cases of COVID-19, resulting in 3,642 deaths and 17,964 hospitalizations.
The Clayton Café and Market were the latest local businesses to shut down due to COVID-19.
The adjoining Clayton businesses announced on their social media page they would close for cleaning and reopen shortly.
While many jails across Georgia are dealing with controlling COVID-19 outbreaks, Nichols said Rabun County jumped on the problem early.
“I think this can be attributed to the quick action of our jail medical contractor, Southern Health Partners,” he said. “Early on they made suggestions of checking temperatures and asking basic medical questions pertaining to COVID. The same with employees. Temperatures are checked in the lobby before they are allowed to go back and start their shift.”
Nichols said that although in-person visits to the jail remain suspended, a video visitation is available to families.
Inmate classes and religious services have also been temporarily suspended.
“We also have in place some beds to quarantine inmates if we feel they have been exposed or are showing symptoms of COVID-19,” Nichols said.
“I would like to commend our jail staff for enforcing these protocols, as well as abiding by them to keep the possibilities of having an outbreak low,” he added. “The staff wears gloves, masks, and tries to maintain the proper social distancing guidelines. I am so thankful, and pray that my staff, along with the inmates, stay healthy during this pandemic in this country.”