BLUE RIDGE, Ga: During the September 14, 2021, county meeting, Fannin County Commissioners enacted a new sick leave policy and approved taking bids for a new HVAC system due to COVID-19.
As COVID-19 outbreaks continue to occur, county employees continue to be affected. Quarantine measures require workers to stay home for up to two weeks, and not everyone can work from home. Additionally, some of these employees didn’t have sick leave accrued to cover that period.
14 Fannin County employees have been affected by COVID-19 since March 1. The majority of those without sick leave had time donated to cover their time out of the office. However, not everyone benefitted from others covering their time.
To help all county employees, Chairman Jamie Hensley proposed a resolution to ensure everyone can receive pay when out sick with COVID-19. The resolution is retroactive and goes into effect from March 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021. It allows employees who are ill or need to take care of a sick family member suffering from COVID-19 to take time off under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act.
“This is a resolution to either give them their sick time back or pay them when they didn’t have a check coming in,” Hensley explained. “We’re here trying to right a wrong.”
The resolution has an option to be extended in January 2022 if COVID-19 continues to be an issue.
Post One Johnny Scearce, who experienced a brutal battle against the virus in 2020, agreed with helping out county employees.
“It will kick your butt,” Scearce stated, “Whatever we can do to help the people, period. I’m all for it…It’s the only Christian thing to do.”
Post Two Glenn Patterson also agreed with the measure.
The resolution has an additional COVID-19 leave which covers 14 days or two weeks of quarantine, 10 days symptomatic and 24 hours asymptomatic, negative test result, or if a coworker receives a negative test to follow CDC return to work guidelines.
Once an employee exhausts the FFCRA and Additional COVID-19 leave protocols, the only option to accrue more time is to present a positive COVID-19 test.
After an executive session, commissioners voted to bid out for a new smart HVAC system in accordance with American Rescue Plan guidelines. The system would be for the courthouse and jail.
American Rescue Act Plans would be used to purchase the system. Fannin accepted $2,543,356 in American Rescue Plans Act Funds at the June 8, 2021 meeting. The Federal government has strict guidelines for fund usage.