COVID-19 Resource Page
In order to stay abreast of the situation and maintain a healthy community and membership, the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce will continue to monitor COVID-19 through updates provided by the Cherokee Emergency Management Agency and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).
The DPH encourages you to obtain your information from reliable and accurate sources such as:
COVID-19 Testing Sites:
Final week for FREE COVID-19 Testing by public health in North Georgia. Make an appointment by calling 1-888-881-1474. Details are at bit.ly/FREE-COVID-19-Tests_NorthGA
Beginning Monday, January 25, COVID testing operations will move from the Woodstock Health Department location to the parking lot of Woodstock First Baptist Church adjacent to Gunnin Road. Please note, this is COVID TESTING OPERATIONS ONLY. Please see below for detailed information and the link to register for testing:
***New COVID-19 drive-thru testing location***
- COVID-19 testing will now be administered by Mako Medical instead of Georgia Public Health.
- The new drive-thru testing site is located at First Baptist Church of Woodstock, in a parking lot adjacent to Gunnin Road. Please note: entrance to the testing site will need to be made via Gunnin Road.
- Days/Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM
- You are only required to pre-register for your test. There are no set appointment times. As soon as you sign up for testing, you can arrive at the testing site any time between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM that is convenient for you.
- Pre-register for your test at the following link: https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/
- Insurance information may be asked for but testing is still “no cost” to the individual
Covid Vaccine Information
Several major grocery store chains have announced that their pharmacies have become approved sites to give COVID-19 vaccinations. Several of which are located in Cherokee County. The Georgia Department of Public Health has added links for these retailers to their webpage for locating COVID Vaccine below. These sites can only provide Vaccine to those 65 and older as part of Tier 1-A vaccination efforts.
In response to the upcoming expansion of eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination in Georgia, county health departments in North Georgia Health District 1-2 will transition their focus from COVID-19 testing to meeting an increased demand for COVID-19 vaccinations.
The North Georgia Health District is temporarily halting COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Cherokee County and the five other counties it serves. Those who already have an appointment can still get their vaccine. Cherokee County leaders continue to work with the North Georgia Health District and will relay additional information as it becomes available.
The North Georgia Health District will provide updates on its website. You can access that site by clicking here.
As of Monday, January 11, 2021, COVID-19 vaccinations will be provided at Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties to these groups of individuals that will be part of the newly expanded Phase 1-A of the Georgia COVID-19 Vaccination Plan:
- Staff in clinical settings (e.g., physicians, nurses, pharmacists, EMS, laboratory staff, environmental services).
- Residents and staff at long-term care facilities who have been unable to get vaccinated.
- All adults 65 years of age or older and their caregivers, and law enforcement and fire personnel.
Eligible residents should call 1-888-881-1474. Residents can register online at www.nghd.org. If you experience difficulties getting through, please be patient and be assured you will be provided an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.
Residents must preregister to be vaccinated and must register in the county where they live or work. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
Residents should monitor the North Georgia Health District website at www.nghd.org for further updates and announcements regarding COVID-19 testing in North Georgia.
Phase 1-A will include paid and unpaid persons serving in a healthcare setting who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. Hospital staff, public health clinical staff, EMS, and other first responders, long term care facility (LTCF) staff, and urgent care facility staff are examples of people who will be included in this phase.
Additional examples include:
• Staff in clinical settings (e.g., physicians, nurses, pharmacists, EMS, laboratory staff, environmental services, LTCF staff etc.)
• LTCF Residents
• All adults 65 years of age and older, law enforcement and fire personnel.
Phase 1-B will include other essential workers and people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
Examples of people that will be included in this Phase are listed below:
• Critical workforce employees (e.g., pharmacy staff, educational faculty and staff, correctional facility staff, court employees, food processors, grocery store workers, transportation staff, nuclear power plant employees, air traffic controllers, etc.)
Phase 1-C will include people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness, not vaccinated during Phase 1-A or Phase 1-B.
Examples of this population include:
• Other essential workers
• Adults below age 65 with significant comorbidities
State of Georgia COVID-19 Hotline: 844-442-2681
If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.
Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act
Current State of Georgia Executive Order pertaining to COVID-19.
Governor Kemp’s Statewide Executive Order: Guidelines for Businesses
12-30 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
11-30 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
11-13 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
10-30 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
10-15 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
9-30 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
9-15 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
8-31 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
8-15 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
7-31 Executive Order: Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
7-31 Executive Order: Renewal of Public Health State of Emergency
7-15 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
6-29 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
6-29 Executive Order: Renewal of Public Health State of Emergency
6-11 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance and Empowering a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
5-28 Executive Order: Renewing the Public Health State of Emergency issued on March 14 and renewed on April 8 and April 30 to assist with the state’s response to COVID-19
5-28 Executive Order: Providing ongoing guidance for reviving a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
5-12 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for reviving a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
5-12 Executive Order: Regarding the Department of Driver Services and on-the-road driving exams
4-30 Executive Order: Renewing the Public Health State of Emergency
Cherokee Office of Economic Development
Covid-19 Business Resource Page:
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce continues to provide relevant information and resources:
US Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Resource Pages:
US Small Business Administration Resource Page:
Kennesaw State Small Business Development Center:
The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Kennesaw State University can answer your questions and help you address any concerns you may have about your business including cash flow, payroll, marketing, the effect of the COVID-19 virus on your business and and help you navigate the process of the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The KSU SBDC is part of cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, KSU and UGA so there is no cost to you for their services. To schedule a teleconference appointment with one of their consultants, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 470.578.6450.
Department of Labor Assistance for Employees
Governor Brian Kemp and Labor Commissioner Mark Butler issued a statement regarding the Georgia Department of Labor Assisting Workers during this difficult time. Commissioner Butler is mandating that all employers electrically file a partial claim on behalf of their employees if the current situation has deemed it necessary for you to significantly reduce hours or temporarily lay off workers.
The benefits of partial claim filing:
- Employers retain their workforce – this is not considered a full lay-off
- There is no additional cost to the employer and the UI ratio will not increase due to these lay-offs during the current situation
- Your employees will be able to begin receiving monetary benefits within days of the electronic filing which will assist them with meeting the needs of their families
- Partial claims are temporary – they have a 6 week period (which can be extended under certain circumstances)
- Partial Claims do not count against any full claims you may need to make in the future. Should you end up having to lay off employees, those employees would still be entitled to the full 14 week benefit (the current length of time unemployment benefits are allowed).
Please go to https://dol.georgia.gov/ to begin the process.
Please review the following guidelines as you and your staff return to work.
Employer Filed Partial Claims
We encourage employers to work with their employees on plans to return to work. When business operations resume to normal operations as it was prior to the COVID-19 crisis, employers should discontinue submitting employer-filed partial claims for any employee who returns to their regular normal work schedule and is earning more than the weekly benefit amount (WBA) plus $300.
However, we understand some businesses will gradually return to full operation and many of their employees will be brought back to work on reduced hours. In these cases, the employees are eligible to continue to receive unemployment benefits. Employers are strongly encouraged to continue to submit weekly employer filed partial claims during this period.
For example, if you bring your employees back to work gradually and Employee A is working 30 hours a week at $15 an hour, you would report his/her earnings for the week as $450. If Employee A is receiving $250 per week from the GDOL in regular state unemployment benefits, you would add the $300 exemption amount and the $250 weekly benefit amount from the GDOL yielding $550. Since they earned $450 from the employer for the week and that is less than the $550, Employee A would still be eligible for $100 in state benefits and the additional $600 per week in federal benefits.
If Employee B is working 30 hours a week at $30 an hour, you would report his/her earnings for the week at $900. If Employee B is receiving $325 per week from the GDOL, you would add the $300 exemption amount and the $325 weekly benefit amount yielding $625. Since they are earning more from the employer at $900 than the allowed amount of $625 to receive benefits, Employee B would not be eligible for state benefits or the additional $600 per week in federal benefits.
If a decision is made to permanently lay off employees, we strongly encourage employers to continue to submit weekly employer filed partial claims on their behalf until further instructions are provided by the GDOL. The GDOL is currently developing a process where employers will be able to identify on the employer filed partial claim spreadsheet those employees permanently laid off. This transition will keep individual claimants from having to refile his/her claim starting the process over again. The claimant will be notified to begin requesting their own weekly unemployment payments.
SBA Loan Application
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Georgia small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by President Trump and following a request for Georgia from Governor Brian Kemp, SBA disaster assistance is now available to the entire state of Georgia. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Here are a few helpful application notes:
- Applicants may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
- Please note that applicants are applying for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, so they MUST select the Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Option.
- If they select the wrong option, they do not have to re-register but they will need to start the application again.
- The following PDF explains the Three Step Loan Process: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Documents/Three_Step_Process_SBA_Disaster_Loans.pdf.
- Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
- For more information, visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster