Weekly Update: March 2020

COVID-19 Updates

The Washington County Chamber of Commerce is here to support our Members and community during this troubling time, so please reach out to us if there is anything we can do.

For precaution, we have canceled all meetings in the Chamber building for the next two weeks. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Below, you will find important information on how to protect your families and yourselves from COVID-19 (aka: coronavirus) and guidance and assistance for operating a business during this time.

Please remember to remain calm, wash your hands, and practice proper safety precautions as is the standard for all contagious illnesses.

Stay safe out there!

Hey Washington County, let's play bingo!

Here's a few ideas on how you can take action to keep our local economy thriving during these uncertain times.​

To learn more about the new Federal tax date and how it might effect you, click here.

DPH Preparations for Potential Spread of COVID-19

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is working closely with the CDC, and state partners to prepare for a potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., including Georgia. The goal is to quickly identify cases of COVID-19 and take the appropriate public health action to reduce its spread and protect the general public. It is important to note that at this time, the overall risk of COVID-19 to the general public remains low.

“We urge Georgians to prepare for hurricanes or flooding or take measures to prevent flu, so preparing for an outbreak of COVID-19 is no different,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., DPH commissioner. “DPH is working to make sure our health systems, first responders and county health departments have the resources they need to respond to a COVID-19 outbreak.”

DPH already has a detailed pandemic flu plan that was developed in partnership with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Department of Education and other state agencies, and will be adapted for a COVID-19 outbreak in the state. DPH has responded to other serious disease outbreaks, including Ebola and Zika virus and each instance has provided new insight and guidance and highlighted the need to be as prepared as we can be.

DPH Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) is providing CDC information and guidance about COVID-19 to all health care and hospital facilities throughout Georgia, and holding weekly calls with the entire public health and hospital/health care community to update information and answer questions.

DPH epidemiologists are on-call 24/7 to help health care providers evaluate individuals presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 to ensure that possible cases are managed safely, support laboratory testing and implement recommendations from the CDC. In the event of COVID-19 in Georgia, epidemiologists would also be monitoring outbreaks and recommending control strategies, including guidance regarding testing and isolation.

Should it become necessary, DPH may recommend appropriate community mitigation measures for affected communities, such as temporary closure of child care facilities and schools/colleges and universities, school and workplace social distancing measures, and postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings. Additionally, businesses should consider ways to implement strategies to reduce the impact of a potential COVID-19 outbreak on their workforce, including teleworking and cross-training employees on essential job functions.

The same measures that are urged to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus are increasingly important for all Georgians:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The best prevention against the flu is vaccination. Flu is still widespread and active in Georgia - it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

Passenger screening at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport is ongoing. This is to identify people coming from China who may have been exposed to and are at risk of developing COVID-19, and to provide appropriate assessment and monitoring to protect the general public.

COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and guidance is subject to change. The preparations currently underway in Georgia are based on the best scientific information we have from the CDC. DPH will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and work with state partners and health care communities to incorporate the most up to date guidance in our planning and preparation efforts.

DPH will continue to update Georgians through our website www.dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus, our Facebook page and our Twitter account. It is important to remember that the most accurate and timely information regarding this outbreak is available through DPH or the CDC’s website www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/index.

If you aren’t feeling well, if your health is compromised, or you simply want to reduce your chance of exposure, we encourage you to use our drive thru window or our delivery service. If you currently use a pharmacy that doesn’t deliver, we welcome you at Sandersville Drug Co. Prescription transfers are easy. Just give us a call.

If you have fever or flu-like symptoms, please remain at home. Call us with your medication needs and we will make arrangements to have them delivered to you. We accept payment with credit or debit over the phone. Also, if you have fever or flu-like symptoms, please do not enter the pharmacy but use the drive Thru to reduce exposure. We are here to serve you. Please call us at 552-7333, and let us know how we can help.

Chamber member, Pineland Cogentes provides the following free offer for all Washington County Chamber members:

 Folks, please don’t create even greater risk to your company by trying to roll your own work from home implementation. Please engage the help of a professional. With so many companies looking to enable work from home, bad guys are in a feeding frenzy taking advantage of poorly patched systems and insecure remote work setups. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber agency, issued an alert on Friday warning that malicious cyber actors are taking advantage of poorly patched network devices to compromise systems through remote access capabilities. They also warned of increased phishing attacks via email during this time.

Pineland Cogentes is here to help you ensure that your work from strategy and infrastructure is secure and not creating a risk for you company, your employees and your customers. We are providing free secure remote access capabilities through our support system for those who need it and don’t have the infrastructure today. Regardless of the path you take to allow remote access to your environment, we urge you to seek professional help to make sure it is secure.

Please call them today at (404) 424-8585 for assistance.

Here is another free resource for those implementing work from home: Get Bigger Brains is an e-learning provider who is offering free Microsoft Teams courses!


Georgia Chamber Updates Businesses and Local Communities on COVID-19
Chamber works with Anthem to Communicate Member Cost-Waiver for Virus Testing

The Georgia Chamber is supporting a fact-based approach to the COVID-19 public health and economic challenge, emphasizing hard data, to keep the Georgia economy moving.

Employers and citizens should use the following regularly updated resources:


Community Events


Lockerly Arboretum 2020 Calendar of Events
(April and May events may be effected by COVID-19. Stay tuned for updates.)

April 17:  Plant Sale. Members only, 11am - 1pm, Public 1pm - 6pm
April 18:  Plant Sale.  Public 8:30am - 11:30am 
April 25:  National Arbor Day.  Guest speaker:  Frederick Law Olmstead.   
May 7:  Wine in the Woods.   
September 26:  Lockerly Under the Stars.
October 1:  Wine in the Woods, sponsored by Magnolia State Bank.  Special guest group: Magnolia State Bank customers.  
October 31:  Family Fun Day
December 3:  Holiday Reception

From the Director

The staff and board of Lockerly are always focused on providing the safest and most enjoyable experience for our guests.  To that end, please be assured that we are monitoring the dynamic and evolving situation with regards to the COVID-19 novel Coronavirus and all its potential impacts. 
We want you to know that we take the health of our visitors, volunteers and staff very seriously.  As an outdoor venue with ample fresh air to breathe, Lockerly Arboretum continues to be a great place to go to find respite, solace, and peace in these uncertain times. We encourage you to continue visiting Lockerly for your mental, emotional and physical well being.  30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity can help your immune system keep viruses at bay, can help clear your head and reduce anxiety.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Happy Trails,
Jennifer Pollard, Executive Director

Chamber Events & News

STAR Winners

The Annual STAR Luncheon was held at Sandersville United Methodist Church on Wednesday, February 19th.

WCHS STAR Student: Taylor Jackson, Teacher: Mr.Seth Watts. Brentwood School STAR Student & County Winner: Christopher Kitchens, Teacher: Mrs.Traci Upton. Meal: Tina’s Catering. Floral: Wiles Florist. Sponsors: Citizens Bank of the South, B-H Transfer, and Queensborough Bank.

Valentine Giveaway Winner

Look at this lucky winner, Belinda Rhodes, who is taking home all these fabulous prizes! Many thanks to all who participated in the Valentine Giveaway, and, remember, you can always just stop right in your favorite retail store anytime!

Fun at the February Business After Hours


We had a great start to 2020 with the February Business After Hours! Attendees had the privilege of celebrating the Ribbon Cutting of Southern Ethos Wealth Management and enjoyed great food from The Lodge Meat Market! Our next Business After Hours will be on March 12th at Georgia Military College. See you soon, Members!


Don't Post Signs on State Right of Way

Posting unauthorized signs on the state’s right of way are a safety hazard and illegal.
Whether it’s a political sign, yard sale, real estate, or goods and services, signs on the state highway system – interstates and state routes – must be approved and permitted to be placed on the right of way.
Unauthorized signs can create safety hazards by distracting drivers and obstructing their view. During inclement weather signs can also cause debris that clogs drainage systems.
Georgia Code 32-6-51 states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, place or maintain within the right of way of any public road any sign, signal or other device except as authorized by subsection (d) of this Code section.” Violation is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or 12 months in jail. 

It’s not unusual for GDOT district maintenance employees to uproot thousands of signs across the state during an election year. The signs are taken to GDOT district headquarters and held for 30 days, giving the owners an opportunity to reclaim them. If not reclaimed, they are destroyed. To reclaim signs that have been removed by Department maintenance, contact your local GDOT office.​

Local Business

Please let us know if we can help you during this time. We will offer free local deliver if needed. Call us and leave a message at 478-553-9400.
New Stoure hours as of 3-16:
Monday - Friday 9 am until 3 pm
Saturday 9 am until 2 pm
Go to gqgifts.com for up to date info.
You can click over to social medua pages there.​

Wedding Package if paid in full during March 2020:
$1295 for 2 days (Friday 9am - 8pm & Saturday 8am - midnight)
Savings of $705 as our full price for a 2 day package is $2,000.
March Madness general event promo:
Block of 6 hours on a Friday or Saturday for a general event(birthday, anniversary, etc.) 
$525 if paid in full at booking during March 2020. Regular price is $600!​

Get a 6-Inch Oven Roasted Chicken or Veggie Delite for $2.99!

Sliders Starting at $1.89!

Get a free small cone!

New: Cotton Candy Dipped Cone!

Now Hiring!


The Washington County Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce Weekly Newsletter - Weekly Update: March 2020