Updates to COVID-19 closings in Rabun County

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Rabun County Government
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   Schools, public events and some services have been shut down or altered in Rabun County due to the COVID-19 national emergency.

During this emergency, The Clayton Tribune is making all of our coverage concerning the COVID-19 free of charge on our website as a public service, Publisher Wayne Knuckles announced. 

The cities of Clayton, Dillard and the county banned on-premises restaurant dining and these restaurants can only provide take out/curbside, pickup or delivery services. 

 Local stores report that supply trucks continue to arrive daily. Although some items are going as quickly as shelves can be restocked, new supplies are constantly being received.

In addition to the closings previously reported, the following information has been updated:

Foxfire

The following was published by the Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center on March 23: 

After further discussion with staff and the community, we are making some changes to our COVID-19 policies here at Foxfire. As we’ve previously stated, we are monitoring the policies of the state park systems and, thus, have adjusted our policy accordingly.

Our goal in changing these policies is to 1) be safe and heed the warnings of the CDC and other health professionals while 2) providing a service to the community. The general consensus among these professionals is that outdoor exercise is good and safe as long as people avoid close contact with others by practicing social distancing.

This past weekend there were reports of state parks flooded with people trying to get outside and enjoy the weather, making safe, social distancing more difficult. So, in order to avoid that issue, we are taking some new, stricter measures on visits to Foxfire.

They are now closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays. Furthermore, the gift shop will be closed indefinitely to visitors, but we will continue to take and ship online orders. 

They also will be taking appointments for visits to the museum Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., spaced out no less than 45 minutes apart. Those folks making appointments can pay over the phone by credit card or can bring cash and place it in the lockbox on the gift shop porch. There will be guide books set outside, limited to no more than two per group. The rate for admission will be a flat $5/person rate, and we are still allowing free admission for kids 12 and under and will have activity bags set out for those children.

Rabun County Library 

The Rabun County Library suspends curbside pickup. 

The Rabun County Library will no longer provide curbside pickup and will be closed to the public until further notice, according to a recent post on their Facebook page. 

"We have had to make a difficult decision to stop providing curbside pickup and will be closed to the public until further notice. The health, safety, and well-being of our patrons, staff, and community are our highest priority," the post stated. 

For the past couple of weeks, patrons have been able to place books on hold with their library card number and have them delivered to their vehicles in the library parking lot. 

Library staff can still assist patrons by phone or email from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. 

"You may return items in our outdoor book drops, and no overdue fees will be charged while we are closed," according to the post.

The library will continue to provide free wifi in the parking lot 24/7. 

For more information, contact the library at 706-782-3731 or visit their website at www.rabuncountylibrary.org 

Welcome Center 

The Rabun County Welcome Center is closed until further notice, according to Juanita Shope, president of the Rabun County Chamber of Commerce, in a recent interview. 

Rabun County Sheriff’s Office

Updated procedures are being implemented at the Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center. 

A press release from the Sheriff’s Office reads: “In order to maintain a high level of public safety, it is critical for law enforcement to evaluate previous, normal operations and amend those procedures as an appropriate response to governmental recommendations and regulations. Because potential exposures could cause a drastic reduction in available staff that is necessary to conduct basic public safety services, new procedures are being implemented immediately in an effort to protect employees, inmates and the public.” 

“Deputies will continue to answer emergency calls for service as usual

“Non-emergency needs can be requested by telephone during business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, by calling the Sheriff’s Office at 706-782-3612

“Non-emergency services occuring after business hours can be made by calling the Rabun County Dispatch Center at 706-782-6226. Dispatch will notify an on-call deputy to make contact by telephone for non-emergency reports. 

“The Sheriff’s Office is now secured at all hours until further notice to ensure the health of our employees. 

“Copies of completed incident reports, accident reports, etc. must be requested by contacting our records clerk, Kim Rodriguez, at kim.rodriguez@rabuncounty.ga.gov or by phone at 706-782-3612. Copies can be mailed, faxed or emailed. 

“Procedures that were implemented at the Detention Center will continue until further notice. However, all mail, aside from legal documents sent by attorneys, will be suspended effective immediately. Inmates will be allowed to send two emails each week free of charge. 

“Our office will continue to monitor all COVID-19 related information actively. 

RCHS Reunion

The RCHS Reunion Under the Stars scheduled for April 4, 2020, has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date. Please continue to upload your RCHS photos to the Facebook page. Questions may be directed to Janie Henry Bingham 706-782-4491 or jhbingham@windstream.net. STAY WELL!

GriefShare

The GriefShare program at Clayton First United Methodist Church has been cancelled for the month of March.   

Wiley Church

Wiley Church invites everyone to join us live on Sundays at 10 a.m., for full praise and worship and a relevant message from Pastor Adam Wright.  Visit their website at www.wileychurch.net/live, and be sure to  refresh the page to make sure you're connected.  Call them at (706)212-2809 M-F 9am-12pm, email us at wileychurchoffice@gmail.com, or visit our website to submit prayer requests."

 High Mountain Squares

High Mountain Squares will cancel all dances and classes until further notice. For information call:  828-787-2324, 828-332-0001, 727-599-1440, 706-746-5426.

Postponed events 

The Rabun County Sheriff’s Office has postponed all of the future events scheduled for the public. These include Citizens’ Law Enforcement Academy, HR 218 (LEOSA) Retired Officers’ Training, Ladies’ Firearms Safety Course Level 1 and Level 2 and the Rifle Safety Class.