Coronavirus precautions shift election, cancel events

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    As public health officials continue to issue advisories, events are being postponed and government offices are closing to the public or changing how staff interact with residents. The primary election has also been delayed. This article will be updated as more information because available. 

County

Beginning Friday, all county offices will be closed to the public both in Kingsland and Woodbine and remain closed until the emergency declaration has been lifted. Residents are encouraged to conduct business by phone or through online options, such as the online payment system.

The Camden County Courthouse will remain open for limited services but resident are urged to handle business online or by phone when possible.

Kingsland

The City of Kingsland will waive fees for utility payments made online or by phone for the next 30 days, effective today. Payments can also be placed in drop boxes. If necessary, only cash will be accepted in person.

Municipal court will be rescheduling the April 1 and April 13 court dates. Those dates will be announced later.

The March 23 council meeting has been canceled. City council is exploring options to live stream council and other public meetings in April. A live stream would include a queue for public input. Once implemented, council chambers will be closed to the public.

The Kingsland Welcome Center will be closed until further notice.

If it becomes necessary, the city will limit public access to its offices and facilities and city staff will work remotely to ensure the continuity of essential operations. All travel and non-essential meetings have been suspended.

St. Marys

The City of St. Marys canceled its council meeting on Monday and closed the senior center.

The water department is waiving all fees for paying over the phone and will remain open, though citizens are encouraged to use phone, online and drop box options.

Court has been suspended until April 17.

Woodbine

The City of Woodbine discontinued all in-person services and programs, effective Tuesday, until further notice. All city events — including the Woodbine Crawfish Festival — and all city facilities, including city hall, will remain closed to the public.

“The Woodbine Citizens Steering Committee, the organizers of the festival, made the decision to cancel in compliance with updated recommendations from the CDC to not hold gathering of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks,” according to the event Facebook page. “Officials stress that the health and safety of the community, volunteers, festival guests, vendors and performers was their top priority in making their decision.”

Essential employees — including streets, solid waste, water and sewer personnel — will continue to report to work. Staff will be available by phone or email to answer questions or provide assistance regarding payments, obtaining forms, information, etc. Payments may be called in or placed in the drop box.

Recreation, PSA

According to the Camden Public Service Authority, all of PSA parks are closed as of today. This includes pavilions, play grounds, fields, courts and park other amenities.

Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island National Seashore remains open to visitors but all facilities are closed and ferry service has been suspended.

The mainland visitor center and museum, Sea Camp ranger station, Plum Orchard and all campgrounds closed Wednesday. All visitor activities, programs and tours are canceled.

Superior Court

All civil hearings and trials, both jury and nonjury, are canceled through April 13. This includes domestic matters and chamber calendars. In civil matters, Camden County has been assigned a specific judge to hear emergency petitions for relief. Those seeking emergency relief should contact the Clerk of Superior Court for assistance.

There will be no change in criminal non-jury calendars currently scheduled.  Those matters shall proceed but shall be conducted via video conferencing.

Any currently scheduled arraignment for a defendant who is out on bond shall be continued. Any future arraignment for a defendant who is incarcerated shall proceed as scheduled.

Libraries

Both the Camden County and St. Marys public libraries closed Monday. The Camden library will be closed through at least March 31. All overdue fines are suspended until the library reopens.

Driver services

The Georgia Department of Driver Services announced Saturday that anyone with a license or ID card expiring now through June 30 will be given a 60-day extension. New cards will be printed and mailed directly to residents.

DDS has also given a 120-day extension on all driver’s licenses or state ID cards for people 60 and older.

Residents 60 and older whose license or ID card expires between March and June 30 will receive an updated card with a 120-day extension.

“DDS is taking every precaution to keep our customers and team members safe. However, if you do not have to visit in person, please do not come. Many services can be done from the comfort of your home or office via the DDS website or the free mobile app, DDS 2 Go,” commissioner Spencer R. Moore said.

All road testing has been suspended until further notice.

Health department

To limit the number of people in waiting rooms, health department offices in the coastal district will not be accepting walk-in clients at this time.

Residents who need services — including immunizations, family planning services, child health services, etc. — should call their health department to make an appointment. Contact the St. Marys office is at (912) 882-8515 or Woodbine at (912) 576-3040.

Currently all county environmental health offices are operating as usual, but there may be delays and limited service delivery in some areas. The Camden environmental health office can be reached at (912) 729-6793.    

OREMC

The lobby/walk-in service at each of Okefenoke REMC’s offices — Nahunta, Kingsland and Hilliard — will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17, until further notice.

All drive through windows will remain open. Payments can also be made online, by phone or by mail.

OREMC is also suspending disconnections and late fees effective March 19 through April 3. Customer service representatives — available at 800-262-5131 — can work with members to make payment arrangements and refer members to agencies offering financial assistance.

Georgia Power

Georgia Power has temporarily suspended residential disconnections for the next 30 days and will re-evaluate the policy and timeframe as the situation develops.

NAACP meeting

In an abundance of caution in the face of the public health emergency, the executive committee of the NAACP Camden Branch (Unit No. 5177) has canceled it in-person meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, March 23, and will replace it with a virtual meeting.

Anyone interested in participating in the virtual meeting should contact the unit by email at naacp5177@gmail.com or send a message via the unit’s Facebook page.

Other events

Other canceled events include, the Woodbine Opry, Camden Roundtable, Taste of Camden, the Cherokee powwow in Folkston, Girls Gone Pickin’, Coast Guard picnic, the spring open house and weekly community market in St. Marys, the Democrats' April meeting and the NAACP Freedom Fund banquet on April 4, the St. Marys River cleanup on April 25.