Whitfield County commissioners expected to vote on whether to accept COVID-19 treatment for jail inmates

The Whitfield County Board of Commissioners meets Monday at 6 p.m. at the Wink Theatre, 115 W. Crawford St. in Dalton.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on a memorandum of understanding with the Dalton City Council that would provide some of the city’s supply of the Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatment to the county jail to treat inmates diagnosed with COVID-19. City Council members approved that measure at their Tuesday meeting.

A person’s antibodies work by binding to a virus or bacteria and preventing it from infecting that person’s body. Monoclonal antibodies are made by cloning natural antibodies. The technology has been around for about 30 years and is used to combat cancer and other diseases.

In an August press conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said monoclonal antibodies are “underutilized” and can reduce the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 by 70% to 85%.

The commissioners are also scheduled to:

• Hear the results of the 2020 audit.

• Decide whether to approve a $516,160 request from the clerk of Superior Court to upgrade the deeds/real estate room in that office. The proposal would digitize records, index them and make them searchable online.

"Since this system would almost eliminate in-person deed/title searches, it would be greatly beneficial during this COVID-19 pandemic and any other government/courthouse shutdowns," Clerk of Court Babs Bailey wrote in a request to commissioners. "In this time of shutdowns the real estate market has been crucial in keeping our economy afloat and with this digital format the real estate market could continue in Whitfield County. For that reason, I am asking for funding of this project to be supplied by the ARP (the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) funding."

Whitfield County will receive $20.3 million in ARP funding to offset the impact of COVID-19.

• Decide whether to approve a $215,265 change order to renovations of the courthouse to provide for an access control system that would be installed by Odin Integrated Technologies of Dalton. The courthouse renovation is funded by the 2020 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). The proposal said this project is eligible for ARP funding and suggests it be funded with the county's ARP money.

• Decide whether to approve an $89,938 change order to the renovation of the courthouse to install a filtration system to the heating and air conditioning system. The filtration system could remove allergens, bacteria and viruses. It would be funded from the county's ARP money.

• Decide whether to renew the contract of Stephen Blevins as an attorney representing young people in Juvenile Court for one year. He would receive $33,000.

• Decide whether to renew a contract for one year with Georgia Probation Services of Trenton to provide probation services for Superior Court and Probate Court. The contract would automatically renew for up to five years unless canceled by either side. Georgia Probation Services would receive a monthly fee of $46, paid by the probationer, for each person under probation.

The meeting is open to the public and will be streamed on the county’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WhitfieldCountyGA.

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