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Dawson County declares state of emergency due to COVID-19
FB DCN Government County

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Local officials have declared that an emergency affecting "life, health, property and public peace" now exists within Dawson County due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

At a March 19 voting session, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved an emergency resolution deploying all available resources to fight the COVID-19 global pandemic, and outlining how the county will operate during the next several months.  

According to the resolution, all public hearings, business of the county zoning and planning commission, and permits for public events and gatherings have been suspended for 60 days.

“I know there have been questions as to what Dawson County is doing to protect our citizens from COVID-19," County Manager David Headley said in a Facebook video posted by the Dawson County Government on Friday afternoon. "I want to reassure you that Dawson County is following all guidelines set forth by the president and the CDC.” 

The board of commissioners will continue to operate and hold public meetings, the resolution said, but all policy-making functions of the board, beyond those related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, have similarly been suspended. 

The resolution says that citizens are strongly encouraged to observe future board meetings via online streaming and those who do choose to attend future open meetings will be required to observe social distancing protocols.

At Thursday's meeting, the Dawson County Attorney stated that the 60 day period could be extended by the board if needed. 

On Friday the Georgia Department of Public Health announced that the first confirmed case of COVID-19 had been recorded in Dawson County.  

This story will be updated.