Editorial roundup: Georgia | Georgia News


Dalton Daily Citizen News. January 18, 2022.

Editorial: Expansion of North Georgia’s free COVID testing program comes at an important time

As the omicron COVID-19 variant burns across the country, many people attempting to get tested for the virus have found long lines at testing sites or bare shelves at pharmacies while seeking tests. home.

Starting Wednesday, 500 million free at-home COVID tests will be available to Americans as part of the Biden administration’s plan to increase testing. Each household can order four home tests from covidtests.gov. The kits will ship to homes within seven to 12 days via the US Postal Service. There are no shipping charges and you don’t need to enter a credit card number.

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Meanwhile, local COVID testing sites have also increased their testing parameters.

MAKO Medical is now offering free drive-through COVID-19 testing in Chatsworth every Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The testing site, at the Murray County Recreation Department at 651 Hyden Tyler Road, has been operating Mondays since last September.

“However, the increased demand for testing, due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, has necessitated an extra day of operation each week in Chatsworth to make it easier for residents to get free tests locally,” according to the North Georgia Health District. .

MAKO Medical COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites in Dalton and Woodstock are now open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in addition to the time these sites operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Due to the current high number of people traveling to the Woodstock testing site, it is recommended that you arrive there by 1:30 p.m. on weekdays and by 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays to ensure testing before closing time.

Other MAKO Medical COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites in North Georgia are in Blue Ridge, Ellijay and Jasper. Addresses and hours of operation for these locations can be found on the North Georgia Health District website at https://www.nghd.org/news/media-releases/free-covid-19-testing-available -in-north-georgia.

Anyone who has COVID-19-like symptoms or who has recently been in close contact with someone infected with the virus should be tested for COVID-19, even if they are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 testing is offered free of charge at MAKO Medical drive-thru testing sites in North Georgia through a partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health. This is a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test performed with a nasal swab to determine the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. It is important to pre-register for testing at https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting.

If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, please get tested.

Valdosta Daily Times. January 14, 2022.

Editorial: Tracking down and ending human trafficking

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

The month is dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking, otherwise known as modern slavery.

The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice has found that at least 100,000 to 300,000 young people are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation each year in the United States.

There’s a misconception that human trafficking doesn’t happen here, Ashley Lindsay of the Lowndes County Children’s Advocacy Center said in a former Valdosta Daily Times article.

Human Trafficking Awareness Month “highlights a situation that most people may not realize in our community, but with I-75 running through Lowndes County, Atlanta is a major hub for sex trafficking, and it’s easy access between Miami and here,” Lindsay said. “We just want to make people aware that sex trafficking is real.”

The FBI has identified Atlanta as one of 14 cities with the highest incidence of sex trafficking activity in the United States, according to state officials.

Many people believe that a victim must cross the border for the crime to be considered trafficking, but that is not the case, officials say.

Another misconception is that victims are always physically restrained, but often the victim is restrained by mental coercion. Victims fear being left without food, shelter and other resources if they leave those who traffic them.

The Children’s Advocacy Center can connect victims with Georgia Cares and victims’ advocates at the district attorney’s office. They can help victims get the resources they need. Victims can reach the center by calling (229) 245-5362.

January became National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month following a December 28, 2016 proclamation signed by President Barack Obama.

The proclamation read: “Our nation has wrestled with the issue of slavery in a way that nearly tore us apart – its fundamental notion in direct contradiction to our founding premise that we are all created equal… But today , in too many places around the world – including right here in the United States – the injustice of modern slavery and human trafficking is still tearing our social fabric apart.

We urge anyone who is a victim of human trafficking or anyone who thinks they may witness a case of human trafficking to contact the authorities for assistance.

To report human trafficking, call 911 or the Georgia Division of Family and Child Services at 1-855-422-4453.

The Lowndes County 911 center is available at (229) 245-5270.

A simple phone call could save a life, could free a life.

Brunswick News. January 18, 2022.

Editorial: Election Integrity Should Be About Both Republicans and Democrats

It’s both shocking and absurd to think that Georgia would need a law like this in the 21st century, but apparently the state needs it. At least Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Butch Miller, a Republican from Gainesville, thinks so, and he’s not the only one. His Senate Resolution 363 has 17 other sponsors, including Senator for that district, Sheila McNeill, R-Brunswick.

The resolution calls for a constitutional amendment requiring all voters in elections in Georgia to be legal citizens of the United States. It has already been adopted by a committee, the Ethics Committee, where members gave it the green light in a 7-2 vote during the first week of the 2022 session of the General Assembly. The two negative votes were cast by two Democrats.

Critics say a constitutional amendment would be redundant. They say that federal and state laws, as well as the US Constitution itself, already prohibit non-citizens from voting in this country’s elections.

Any poll taken today would undoubtedly indicate that most Georgians would think the same. What voter registration office, after all, would allow an individual who was a citizen of another country to help decide the outcome of that state and nation’s elections? Let’s hope that’s not the case.

Some opponents of the constitutional amendment take the argument against it one step further and claim that the proposed resolution has racial overtones. No one knows where they got this ridiculous counter-argument from. Either an individual is a citizen or he is not. It’s a matter of citizenship, not race.

Despite the sneers and jeers, Senator Miller defends his proposal. He says it will clarify the law. The director of external affairs in the Georgian secretary of state’s office, Sam Teasley, tends to agree with him. Teasley uses words like “permissive” to describe the section of the state constitution that deals with voting today. “It’s not clear,” he said.

If this is an accurate description of how voting is treated in the state constitution, then by all means the legislature should clarify it. If it takes a constitutional amendment to do that, so be it.

Election integrity should be about Republicans and Democrats. It is incumbent on everyone to do whatever is necessary to safeguard the decision-making power of the men and women who elect them and who are effectively citizens of this State.

Copyright 2022 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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