Caucus Planned Jan. 20 to Elect State Rep to the GDP

Georgia Democratic Party Logo

The Gilmer County Democratic Committee will hold an election for our State Representative to the Georgia Democratic Party.

We will hold an official vote of our Democrat members at our January 20, 2022, meeting. All Democrats in Gilmer County are eligible to vote. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Mountain Light Unitarian Universalist Church and online via ZOOM. Voting will be held via paper and electronic ballot.

We are currently accepting nominations and will allow nominations from the floor at the Jan. 20 meeting. Candidates must fill out an affidavit form which we will provide upon request. Just email us info [@] to request the affidavit and express interest.

Please note the email address above has been modified for web security but you can type it in the correct way when you send us an email.

Please join us!

David Ashley to Chair Gilmer Dems

David Ashley standing in front of Gilmer courthouse

David Ashley was elected as the new chair of the Gilmer County Democratic Committee on September 13. David assumed the chair position with the unanimous support of the Committee after the resignation of Noah May.

David Ashley standing in front of Gilmer courthouse
David Ashley, chair, Gilmer County Democratic Committee

Noah, who will be deeply missed, is moving out of Gilmer County but will become active in his local Democratic chapter. We are forever grateful to Noah and his predecessor, Melba Gandy, for their leadership of the organization.

At the same meeting, Leslie Wade was appointed as a Vice Chair of the Committee and Beth Williams as Secretary. Dennis Brixius of the Turniptown area was appointed as a general Committee member.

Continuing officers include Vice Chair Jo Hensley and Treasurer Terry Woehr. The Committee also includes members Teresa Suarez and Eunice Rosner.

The Gilmer Dems will be working to expand the Committee in the months ahead. Watch for upcoming announcements about the open seats available and please join us in giving a hearty and warm welcome to our new chair, David Ashley, and new Committee member, Dennis Brixius.

Drive-thru COVID-19 Testing

MAKO Medical Adding COVID-19 Drive-thru Testing Sites in North Georgia

North GA – In addition to the free COVID-19 Testing provided by MAKO Medical at drive-thru sites in Canton, Dalton and Ellijay, the service is now expanding to three new sites in North Georgia that will operate one day a week. These added COVID-19 testing sites will be in Blue Ridge, Chatsworth and Jasper, Georgia.

All MAKO Medical sites, including the new once-a-week locations, will operate as follows:

Action Church

271 Marietta Road, Canton, GA 30114

Monday – Friday, 8 AM – 3 PM

Edwards Park

115 Edwards Park Entrance, Dalton, GA 30721

Monday – Friday, 8 AM – 3 PM

Gilmer County Civic Center (Parks and Recreation)

1561 South Main Street, Ellijay, GA 30540

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 8 AM – 2 PM

Murray County Recreation Department

651 Hyden Tyler Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705

Mondays only: 8 AM – 3 PM, beginning September 13, 2021

Mt. Zion Baptist Church

1036 N. Main Street, Jasper, GA 30143

Tuesdays only: 8 AM – 3 PM, beginning September 14, 2021

The Farmers Market

811 Summit Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Thursdays only: 8 AM – 3 PM, beginning September 16, 2021

This is PCR testing done by nasal swab to determine the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19, and it is free.

Anyone who has COVID-19 type symptoms or has been in close contact recently with a person infected with the virus needs to be tested for COVID-19, even if they are fully vaccinated. There are no eligibility requirements other than having a Georgia address and registering online at

More Than 20,000 Lives Lost to COVID-19 in GA

ATLANTA – The number of Georgians who have died from COVID-19 now surpasses 20,000. As of 3 p.m. today, there have been 20,041 confirmed COVID deaths in Georgia since the pandemic began.

“It is tragic but not surprising that we have surpassed this grim milestone of 20,000 COVID deaths in our state,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner. “Ninety seven percent of COVID deaths since we’ve had vaccine are in unvaccinated individuals. These deaths are preventable.”

COVID vaccines are safe and effective at protecting against COVID-19 infections. COVID vaccines also help prevent severe illness and death if an individual does get sick. The vaccines also reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID cases are surging in Georgia, driven by the delta variant. The delta variant is more transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 and research shows that it results in a higher rate of severe illness and hospitalization than other variants. COVID-19 is spreading fastest in areas with low vaccination rates. Currently, only 44% of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

All Georgians aged 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated, wear a mask in public settings and wash their hands frequently.

COVID vaccine is available statewide and is our best tool for ending this pandemic and reducing the overwhelming strain on EMS, the healthcare system and healthcare providers. To find a COVID vaccination location, log on to

COVID testing is recommended immediately for anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, individuals who have had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested, even if they are fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated should get tested 3-5 days after exposure. Unvaccinated individuals should quarantine and be tested immediately after being identified, and, if negative, tested again in 5–7 days after last exposure. To find testing locations, log on to Please do not go to hospital emergency rooms for COIVD testing.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook

Vaccination More Urgent Than Ever

COVID-19 Cases Increase and Delta Variant Spreads in Georgia

ATLANTA – If you were waiting for the right time to get vaccinated, that time is now! The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging Georgians to get vaccinated as the number of new COVID-19 cases increases daily and the Delta variant spreads.

The COVID case rate in Georgia has increased 204% over the last 14-day period. Yesterday new cases totaled 4,612 – the highest daily number since mid-February. Hospitalizations have increased by about 50% in the last 14 days, and deaths have increased by about 18% in the same period. Vaccination has stalled statewide and only 40% of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the Delta variant accounts for 78% of new COVID cases in Georgia, making vaccination more urgent than ever. The Delta variant spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another, compared with earlier strains. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes are happening in places with low vaccination rates, and virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.

“Unfortunately, we can expect COVID numbers to keep growing. People who are unvaccinated or skip their second dose of vaccine are targets for infection,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. High vaccination coverage will reduce spread of the virus in your community and elsewhere – and help prevent new variants from emerging.”

All Georgians aged 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19. If you receive either Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you must get your second dose to ensure you are fully protected. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of vaccine.

COVID vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are safe and effective against COVID-19 and the variants that are circulating. Vaccination is the best defense at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death. The delta variant is causing some “vaccine breakthrough infections,” meaning infections in fully vaccinated people, but even so, most breakthrough infections are mild. In areas with substantial and high transmission (, the CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

COVID vaccines are free and widely available statewide without insurance or identification. To find a vaccination location or to schedule an appointment, visit

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook. ##

2021 May Newsletter

Upcoming Events

May 20 at 6:30 PM via Zoom

The right to vote is a foundational principle of a republic. Join us via zoom as Abril Castro of Fair Fight discusses about recent changes to state law and how you can protect this essential right for yourself and your neighbor.

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Save the Date! June 17 at 6:30 PM-Hybrid!

Join us via zoom or IN-PERSON to hear Dr. Tammy Byron,  Assistant Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Dalton State College, speak about the debate on the Declaration of Independence and its relevance today!
In-Person meeting will be held at Mountain Light Unitarian  2502 Tails Creek Rd, Ellijay, GA 30540. Masks will be required and social distancing enforced.

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Do the Write Thing! Send a Letter to the Editor!

To fight disinformation and expand the information ecosystem of Gilmer County, we invite you to write a letter to the editor of 350 words or less. If you decide to sign it as a Gilmer Democrat, we ask that you email to for proofreading. When you are done, you can email to If you have any questions, please email us or call us at (706) 276-4477 and leave a message. Let our voices and opinions be heard!

Take Action!

Who Should Be our Guest?

We want your opinion! Please let us know any speakers you would be interested in hearing at our monthly meetings by emailing us at

Run For Office!

With 2022 rapidly approaching, the Georgia Democratic Party is seeking qualified candidates for public office. If you are interested in serving to shape a better future in Gilmer County or statewide, we will have an informational meeting on June 5th at 5:00 PM via zoom. Please email us at if you are interested in attending.

From the Desk of the Chair

Mother’s Day is a special holiday in our family. Mother’s day has always been a day for my family to honor a truly exceptional woman who has taught me practical life skills like cooking the best fried chicken known to humankind, gardening, and home improvement tips.

In a broader sense my mother has also taught me life lessons like tolerance and respect for others, humility, and that no one person is better than another and thus, everyone should have equal rights, regardless of their gender. Now that I am grown, I see that tolerance and respect is not our country’s strong suit. Racial hate crimes have increased in the past four years. We have seen a resurgence in political violence. Violence against women continues to be a problem. We must strive for an an American experience, where citizens, no matter their race, political persuasion, or gender do not have to fear what their fellow Americans may do to them.

Now that I am grown, I also see that equal rights, although granted in theory, are not always granted in practice to women or other people based on things like their sexual orientation or race. States are passing laws restricting a woman’s right to chose what happens to her own body. The United States ranks 45th in gender equality in the world. States continue to pass laws discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation. Police officers continue to kill innocent people solely due to racial profiling. Needless to say, there is much work left to do in the fight for equal rights.

This mother’s day I also see the importance of the Biden Administration’s agenda of implementing the child tax credit, increasing access to child care for working mothers, and the creation of a paid family and medical leave program. With a brand new nephew, I can see how these policies would be a help to the newest mother in our family. My new nephew has made me think about the future and what can be done to help him have his best life. This improved quality of life reminds me of my mother, who always seems to make everything better. From boo-boos as a child to adult problems, my mother is the first one I call to help me make things better. I think if we take some of the lessons my mama taught me like tolerance, respect, and equality, the world would be a better place.





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No-Appointment Clinics

At ALL Health Dept COVID-19 Clinic Sites in North Georgia: April 26 – 29!

North (GA) – Georgians 16 and older still have the opportunity to walk in to one of our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics with NO Appointment! Public Health Departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties will take clients with no appointment at their current COVID-19 vaccine clinic sites April 26TH thru 29TH from 9 AM to 3 PM. There is NO Cost to clients.*  Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be offered, as available. Teens ages 16 to 18 are only permitted Pfizer vaccine and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Pfizer is most reliably available in Whitfield County.  Addresses for the county public health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics are as follows:

Cherokee County:  Canton First Baptist Church, 1 Mission Point, Canton, GA 30114

Fannin County:  Kiwanis Club of Blue Ridge, 124 Jones Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30213

Gilmer County:  Piedmont Community Center, 824 Industrial Blvd., Ellijay, GA 30540

Murray County:  Murray County Parks & Recreation Dept, 651 Hyden Tyler Rd, Chatsworth, GA 30705

Pickens County:  Pickens County Recreation Department, 1329 Camp Road, Jasper, GA 30143

Whitfield County:  Whitfield County Health Department, 800 Professional Blvd, Dalton, GA 30720

*Health insurance accepted IF presented, but there is NO out-of-pocket expense to clients!

The Asian Tiger Mosquito

By Raymond King, MS, District Director of Environmental Health

It’s that time of year again to guard against mosquitoes, and the Asian Tiger Mosquito is the most common mosquito in our area. It is the most pestiferous daytime biter, and it is easy to recognize by its jet-black body and white markings. If you have been pursued and bitten by one, you know why they are called tiger mosquitoes. They will follow you inside your home in search of human blood.

This mosquito species is not native to North America but was introduced in the mid-1980’s through the import of used automobile tires from Hong Kong. Since then, it has spread throughout much of the eastern United States. It can transmit diseases of public health concern like Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya and Dengue Fever.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is what we call a “container-breeder”, using almost any kind of small water container for its larvae such as bottle caps, tires, buckets, drink cans, bird baths, house gutters, yard toys, and especially plates under outside plants. It takes very little water to support many of its larvae. The easiest way to control Asian Tiger Mosquitoes and other mosquito species is to dump out the water in these containers. Their larvae can also sometimes be found in natural habitats such as puddles, tree holes, and around the edges of small ponds.

Perform a survey around the outside of your home and carefully inspect for anything that could hold water for a week or more.  Adult Asian Tiger Mosquitoes do not fly far from where they hatch, so there is a good chance their larvae are on your own property.

If you cannot empty containers, gutters or puddles, then treat these with a biological control product called Mosquito Dunks®, which is available at any hardware store. They look like donuts and you can break them up into small pieces for small containers. Treatments last for thirty days. Mosquito Dunks® contain bacteria that are only fatal to mosquitoes and have no effects on humans, pets, birds or wildlife. Most mosquito larvae die within a few hours of placing dunks in the water and dunks are effective against all species of mosquito larvae.

About Us: The North Georgia Health District is part of the Georgia Department of Public Health. One of 18 health districts in the state, the North Georgia Health District (District 1-2) is comprised of six counties: Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield. Many public health programs and services exist throughout the district, all of which are designed to meet the needs of the people of North Georgia. Learn more about us at, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

To access this article on our website in both English and Spanish, please log onto

Update on COVID Vaccinations

North Georgia Health Officials Urge Current and Upcoming Eligible Residents to Make a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

North GA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Governor Brian Kemp announced yesterday that Georgia is going to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility on Monday, March 15, 2021. This expansion will include adults aged 55 and older, individuals with disabilities and certain medical conditions. It will also include people with disabilities caused by an injury (e.g., traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury), a disability due to a longstanding condition that could cause vision loss, nerve damage or loss of a limb, or a disability due to illness such as ALS or multiple sclerosis.

The North Georgia Health District is urging residents who are currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccine and those who will be eligible beginning next week to register for a vaccination appointment online at or call our Call Center hot line at 1-888-881-1474, weekdays from 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM. Go to for more information about the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics conducted by public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties.

Currently, the following groups are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia:

  • Healthcare workers (physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, EMS personnel, environmental services, etc.)
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • Adults aged 65+ and their caregivers*
  • Law enforcement, firefighters, first responders
  • Educators and staff (Pre-K, K-12, DECAL licensed or exempt childcare programs)
  • Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers*
    • Intellectual Disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 22
    • A developmental disability is a physical or mental impairment that happens before the age of 22, is expected to last a lifetime, and impacts at least three activities of daily living. Activities of daily living include self-care; receptive and expressive language; learning; mobility; self-direction; capacity for independent living; and economic self-sufficiency
  • Parents of children with complex medical conditions who are at high risk for COVID-19 complications
    • Malignancies requiring active treatment
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including organ transplant (bone marrow or solid organ) within 2 years
    • Critical congenital heart disease
    • Asthma (moderate to severe)
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity (BMI >95%)
    • Cystic fibrosis
    • Significant neurologic injury or condition (e.g., hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, traumatic brain injury, congenital anomaly, acute flaccid myelitis) with functional/developmental impairment (e.g., cerebral palsy, developmental disability, prematurity, mitochondrial disease)
    • Technology dependence (e.g., BiPAP, trach)

*Caregivers provide care to people who need assistance for everyday tasks.

Care recipients can live in residential or institutional settings, range from children to older adults, and have chronic illnesses or disabling conditions.

Beginning March 15, 2021, the following populations will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Georgia:

  • Adults aged 55 and older
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Individuals aged 16 years and older with certain medical conditions that increase their risk of severe illness from COVID-19. **Note: Pfizer is the only COVID vaccine currently approved for children aged 16 and older**
  • Conditions include:
    • Asthma
    • Cancer
    • Cerebrovascular Disease
    • Chronic Kidney Disease
    • COPD
    • Cystic Fibrosis
    • Diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Heart Conditions
    • Immunocompromised State
    • Liver Disease
    • Neurologic Conditions
    • Overweight and Obesity
    • Pregnancy
    • Pulmonary Fibrosis
    • Sickle Cell Disease
    • Thalassemia

**Pfizer vaccine is only available at our Cherokee and Whitfield County COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics**

For more information about COVID-19 Vaccine in Georgia, log onto the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) website at


About Us: The North Georgia Health District is part of the Georgia Department of Public Health. One of 18 health districts in the state, the North Georgia Health District (District 1-2) is comprised of six counties: Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield. Many public health programs and services exist throughout the district, all of which are designed to meet the needs of the people of North Georgia. Learn more about us at, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

To access this press release on our website, please log onto

COVID-19 Testing


Conveniently located in Dalton and Woodstock!

North GA – Anyone who has COVID-19 type symptoms or has been in close contact recently with a person infected with the virus needs to be tested for COVID-19.

Free COVID-19 Testing is offered at MAKO Medical Drive-Thru Testing Sites in North Georgia through a partnership with the Georgia Department of Health. There are no eligibility requirements other than having a Georgia address and registering online at

The two drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in North Georgia are:

Edwards Park

115 Edwards Park Entrance, Dalton, GA 30721

Mon – Fri, 8 AM – 3 PM

First Baptist Church of Woodstock

11905 Highway 92, Woodstock, GA 30188

(Please enter via Trickum Rd/Gunnin Rd entrance)

Mon – Fri, 8 AM – 3 PM

**Please do not call these locations. No information is available by phone at these locations**

The test is performed with a nasal swab to determine the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19.

More information about MAKO Medical’s Free COVID-19 Testing is available at the registration link.



¡Convenientemente ubicado en Dalton y Woodstock!

Norte GA – Cualquier persona que tenga síntomas de tipo COVID-19 o que haya estado en contacto cercano recientemente con una persona infectada con el virus debe hacerse la prueba del COVID-19.

Las pruebas de COVID-19 gratuitas se ofrecen en el norte de Georgia en los sitios de pruebas médicas de MAKO, donde usted conduce para hacerse la prueba, a través de una asociación con el Departamento de Salud de Georgia. No existen requisitos de elegibilidad más que tener una dirección en Georgia y registrarse en línea en

Los dos sitios de prueba de COVID-19 en el norte de Georgia son:

Edwards Park

115 Edwards Park Entrance, Dalton, GA 30721

Lun – Vie, 8 AM – 3 PM

First Baptist Church of Woodstock

11905 Highway 92, Woodstock, GA 30188

(Ingrese por la entrada de Trickum Rd / Gunnin Rd)

Lun – Vie, 8 AM – 3 PM

**No llame a estos lugares. No hay información disponible por teléfono en estos lugares**

La prueba se realiza con un hisopo nasal para determinar la presencia del virus que causa COVID-19.

Más información sobre La Pruebas Gratuita de COVID-19 de MAKO Medical está disponible en el enlace de registro.