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Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills issues statement on Coronavirus after President issues national emergency

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  • Sheriff Howard Sills is Putnam County's Emergency Management Director
    Sills issues statement on Covid-19 after President Trump issues national emergency


Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills releases statement after national emergency issued due to Coronavirus pandemic 

-- No test kits available locally

March 14, 2020 -- There will be a meeting here at my office next Monday, March 16.  The executive officers of our local governments, agency heads of all emergency service entities in the county, representatives from our public and private schools, along with representatives from our health department and local hospital will be in attendance.  We will hopefully come up with some answers to some of the public’s concerns at this meeting. 

In my capacity as EMA Director, I can say that we have received no new information from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), nor any new information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), that differs from what the national and local news media outlets have already broadcast. The most recent and comprehensive information regarding the virus is available from the Georgia Department of Public Health and this is a link to their website:

It is my understanding that there are NO test kits available locally at this time.  People with dry coughs or fever and flu-like symptoms should contact their medical provider and follow the provider’s instructions.  Your medical provider will advise you regarding testing if your symptoms meet the criteria for testing.  Elderly people and people with existing health problems should avoid contact with crowds and persons who might possibly be infected with the virus.

The following closures are in effect at this time: 

Putnam County Public Schools will be closed for students from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20.  Teachers and other employees should report for work on Monday the 16th and will receive further instructions at that time.

Grand Jury and jury trials for Putnam County and the other seven counties (Baldwin, Greene, Hancock, Jasper, Jones, Morgan, and Wilkinson) of our circuit are canceled for the next 30 days.  Other Superior Court functions will remain open until further notice.

The Putnam County Recreation Department is closed through the end of next week, Sunday, March 22.

We will update information regarding closures just as soon as we are notified of such.

I urge people to remain calm, practice good hygiene, and use good old common sense until they receive other official notices from legitimate government entities.



Sheriff Howard R. Sills

Putnam County, Georgia

Eatonton, GA  31024-3637