Newscast/Rant: Liberty Square choir member dies. ‘Emergency’ decree due at 4 p.m. Rant: A sad but historic day.

Newscast/Rant: Liberty Square choir member dies. ‘Emergency’ decree due at 4 p.m. Rant: A sad but historic day.

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Today’s headlines:

  • We start today with the death of a local woman, Beth Wells, 66, a member of the choir at The Church at Liberty Square.
  • The Floyd County and Rome City commissions have called a 4 p.m. meeting ‘to declare a public health state of emergency.’ We have updates from the local hospitals and the latest numbers from the state. There were 197 ‘positive’ cases in the state with the next report due at noon today.
  • Business: Calhoun Outlet Marketplace is now closed through March 29. Bank, credit union and restaurant updates as drive-through, curbside pickup take over.
  • Impact: Federal courthouse in Rome closed after security guard ‘hospitalized with symptoms being treated as a presumptive positive’ for coronavirus.

Today’s other news:

  • Regional job reports for January. These numbers will change by the time March reports come out.
  • Buzz: Two hot spots to watch on I-75 today, south of Cartersville and near Dalton.
  • Ware Mechanical Weather Center: Some patchy fog this morning. High of 80 today but storms due Friday afternoon, evening. Spring starts tonight at 11:50.

RANT OF THE DAY: Watching history.

This really is one of those days we’ll remember. We start with the confirmation of our area’s first coronavirus patient and we know we’ll see some sort of impact from the joint city/county commission meeting set for 4 p.m.

The two groups are scheduled to declare a public health state of emergency. What that means is not quite nailed down as yet, at least on our end, but we assume we’re going to see some required closings.

The purpose continues to be to stop the spread of coronavirus – and it is going to be a tough fight.

We’re already seeing restaurants and federal courthouses closing because of either contact with the virus or those exhibiting symptoms from the virus.

It is generally assumed coronavirus has been in our community since a March 1 event at The Church at Liberty Square in Cartersville. Nineteen days later, look how many local cases can be traced there – choir members, the congregation, their spouses or families.

What’s key here is that people didn’t know about the virus at the start of this month. It had a good two weeks to spread before we started to see corrective action here such as schools closing, event cancellations and eventually calls for no crowds of 10 or more.

Again, we’re likely to hear more from the two commissions later today.

We urge you to watch the commission meeting on whatever platform is available this afternoon. This will become part of local history, perhaps a part we’d just as soon forget but never will be able to do so.

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