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Affected Services

April 13th

MIDDLE GEORGIA REGIONAL LIBRARY BOARD CLOSES LIBRARIES THROUGH MAY 31

All Middle Georgia Regional Libraries will be closed through the end of May, including the five locations in Macon, due to COVID-19. The closure only includes access to physical access, according to a library press release: virtual and digital services are still available at at bibblib.organd facebook.com/MGRLibraries. Heres more:

“Community members can also apply for a free digital library card at bibblib.org to get access to ebooks, learning resources, and more. Overdue fees will not be charged for materials due while the library is closed. For assistance with using library services, email help@bibblib.org.

WARNER ROBINS BULK WASTE PICKUP SUSPENDED THROUGH APRIL 27

Warner Robins’ solid waste contractor, GFL Environmental, has suspended bulk waste pickup through April 27. Residential trash needs to be placed in containers, withi lids completely closed. Yard waste will continue to be collected as normal.

April 7th

MACON-BIBB SUSPENDS YARD AND BULK WASTE

Starting Wednesday, Macon-Bibb’s Solid Waste Department will temporarily suspend all collection of containerized yard waste, large piles of yard waste and bulk waste.

This will allow crews to help with Advanced Disposal Services’ collection of household garbage, with more garbage being placed on the curb as people shelter in place due to COVID-19, according to The Hub, Macon-Bibb’s e-newsletter.

“We tried to maintain services as much as we could early on, but with more people staying home, cooking home, and cleaning out their houses, the amount is beginning to overwhelm all of our crews,” Solid Waste Director Pat Raines said in the newsletter. “Our first priority has to be on protecting public health, and that means focusing on garbage instead of leaves and branches.”

From March 2 to March 6, Solid Waste Department crews collected 91 tons of garbage and that number increased to 172 tons from March 30-April, the newsletter said.

Monday, more than 50 tons was collected with crews not able to finish Monday’s route. “Those totals are the additional amounts above what ADS collected,” the newsletter said.

ADS picks up the rolling carts of household garbage, and Solid Waste Department crews collecting the garbage in additional cans or sitting on the ground. ADS continues to collect recycling.

The Solid Waste Department is asking that people be patient.

“If garbage is not picked up on the day it’s supposed to, go ahead and leave it out because we may not have had time to make it there that day,” Raines said. “This will be a temporary change as our community continues to shelter in place to protect everyone’s health, and once the need for additional collections is reduced, we will reinstate the other services.”

Call 478-803-0499 with questions or to report a missed pickup.


Read more here: https://www.macon.com/news/coronavirus/article241823061.html#storylink=cpy

April 4th

FLINT ENERGIES CLOSES DRIVE-THRU SERVICE, LIMITS WORK TO ESSENTIAL SERVICES

Flint Energies has closed its drive-thru service, according to a company news release.

Services are available online, through the Flint Energies mobile app or by phone. Payments can also be made via night deposit boxes and kiosks.

Also, Flint Energies is limiting its daily work activities to include only essential services.

“This means that we will continue responding to outages, maintaining our call center, and addressing various reliability issues,” the release said. “However, all other non-essential activities and services are being suspended until further notice.”

The move is in response to Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter-in-place order, the release said.

Additionally, Flint Energies has suspended disconnections of service for nonpayment until further notice.

“A suspension of disconnects does not equal bill waivers,” the release said. “Members are encouraged to pay what they can to avoid a larger bill amount later. Pay Your Way members will continue to receive daily usage alerts during this time.”

Customers who need to make payment arrangements, including those affected by COVID-19, are asked to contact Flint Energies at 1-800-342-3616 or by email at hello@flintemc.com.

Power outages may be reported via our website, the Flint Energies mobile app, by text or by calling 1-800-342-3616.


Read more here: https://www.macon.com/news/coronavirus/article241767001.html#storylink=cpy

April 3rd

VA Medical Center in Dublin offers virtual care tools

The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin is offering virtual tools for veterans to receive care via telephone or video appointments.

Other tools available range from prescription ordering to secure messaging to a veteran’s healthcare team to automated texts about COVID-19, according to a VA Medical Center news release.

“Due to COVID-19 precautionary measures and out of concern for our veterans, we are honoring current social isolation and distancing guidelines,” David L. Whitmer, medical center director, said in the release. “Through VA’s virtual care tools, we are able to leverage available technology to make sure that our patients and staff are as safe as possible during this time.”

The medical center is asking its clients to use the online tools for routine and non-urgent questions in order to help the center address veterans with most urgent needs.

Virtual tools available include:

Telephone or video appointments via VA Video Connect on their computers, smartphones or tablets.

To set up, veterans can send their provider a secure message on My HealtheVet by visiting myhealth.va.gov.

“Veterans may also call, but VA is requesting that Veterans only call with urgent needs at this time,” the release said.

To learn more about VA Video Connect, visit mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect.

Veterans can request prescription refills and order and ship medications to their homes using My HealtheVet or the Rx Refill mobile app. Download the app at mobile.va.gov/app/rx-refill.

Veterans can use Annie’s Coronavirus Precautions protocol to send automated text messages with information about COVID-19. Enroll at mobile.va.gov/annie.

“This application helps veterans monitor for symptoms and can assist if they need to contact their VA facility for care,” the release said.

With My HealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal, Veterans can send online secure messages to your VA health care team to ask them non-urgent health questions. Register at www.myhealth.va.gov.

To reach Connected Care Services, call 1-800-595-5229. Choose option 2 for pharmacy, option 3 for scheduling, option 4 for nursing. The call center hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call the 24/7 number at 888-651-2684. In many cases, telehealth is available.

For more information about VA’s Connected Care technologies, visit connectedcare.va.gov.

April 2nd

Macon-Bibb MTA suspends Bellevue Express route

The Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority has suspended the Bellevue Express route until further notice, according to a MTA news release. The Bellevue regular route will continue to run.

Additionally, only one bus will serve the Eisenhower route. This bus route will run from 5:20 a.m. until noon and 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

March 23, MTA launched multiple changes, including free ridership, testing passenger temperatures outside the transfer station and reducing bus service to weekend levels.

The bus service continues to run Monday through Saturday.

Rebuilding Macon indefinitely postpones city-wide work day

Rebuilding Macon, a nonprofit organization in Middle Georgia that provides home repairs to low-income homeowners free of charge, has indefinitely postponed its annual city-wide work day.

The event is normally held on the last Saturday in April.

“This large-scale effort has long been the life blood of our organization and it is with a heavy heart that we must postpone it,” the nonprofit said in its quarterly newsletter. “The health and safety of our volunteers and our homeowners remain a top priority.

“We know that to ensure a positive and impactful community work day, it must be pushed to a later date. As we continue to monitor public health concerns, please stay connected to our website for updates regarding when this event will take place.”

April 1st

MWA again suspends disconnections for non-payment

The Macon Water Authority board has suspended service disconnections for customer non-payment of water and/or sewer bills. The MWA initially announced it would halt disconnections “indefinitely” starting March 15.

Also, the board has suspended administration fees and late penalties on customer accounts, according to a MWA news release.

“However, the authority encourages customers to keep their accounts current by continuing to pay their bills,” the release read.

Payments may be made online through the MWA customer self-service portal, mail, phone or other regular methods.

MWA has also closed its customer service lobby and halted public fishing at Javors Lucas Lake until further notice.

Additionally, customers are asked to avoid flushing wet wipes and other disposable items in toilets, including those marked “flushable” or “septic safe.”

Those items are not made to break down once they’ve entered the MWA sewer system and can sewer line blockages, spills and overflows and damage the sewer collection system, the release said.

Residents are also advised not to pour fats, oils and grease into drains, which can clog residential plumbing and negatively impact the sewer system, according to the release.

For more information, contact MWA Customer Care at 478-464-5600, or visit the MWA website at www.maconwater.org.

March 30th

Warner Robins suspending bulk trash pickup

Warner Robins solid waste collection contractor has suspended bulk waste pick up from March 30 through April 10. Warner Robins resident’s all trash must be placed in containers. They will only collect trash fully contained inside the trash can. with the lid completely closed. Yard waste will continue to run as scheduled.

March 29th

Warner Robins suspending bulk trash pickup

Warner Robins solid waste collection contractor has suspended bulk waste pick up from March 30 through April 10. Warner Robins resident’s all trash must be placed in containers. They will only collect trash fully contained inside the trash can. with the lid completely closed. Yard waste will continue to run as scheduled.

March 28th

Macon-Bibb tax deadlines approaching requiring forms by mail

The Macon-Bibb County Tax Assessor’s Office has closed to the public until further notice, having moved their services online at www.bibbassessors.com.

All real property returns and applications for exemption are required to be mailed and post marked no later than April 1, according to the website.

The same deadline is also in effect for all personal property returns and applications, which will only be accepted by mail. Returns are considered filed upon receipt, with only the U.S. Postal Service postmark serving as the date of filing.

Forms are available online. Questions or concerns should be directed to 478-621-6701 for real property and 478-621-6723 for personal property.

March 27th

Middle Georgia Libraries closed through April 6

The Middle Georgia Regional Library Board has suspended operations of our brick-and-mortar and outreach services through April 6. The libraries are continuing virtual services including Facebook Live storytime, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday phone services, email services, and more.

Digital services are still available at bibblib.org. Community members can also apply for a free digital library card at bibblib.org to get access to ebooks, learning resources, and more.

Macon-Bibb highlights service changes

Macon-Bibb has implemented several changes to protect the health of its employees and the community while still providing services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Here are key ones as outlined Friday in The Hub, Macon-Bibb’s weekly e-newsletter.

The deadline for business licenses has been extended to May 6.

Although commission meetings are closed to the public, they will be simultaneously broadcast at www.facebook.com/maconbibbcounty and www.maconbibb.us.

Courts and trials continue to be rescheduled.

The Tax Commissioner’s Office is drive-through and online only.

County extension classes and 4-H programs have been canceled.

All offices are either limiting public access or are closed. People are encouraged to call ahead to determine if their needs can be met over the phone or online. Phone numbers are listed at www.maconbibb.us or call 751-7170.

March 26th

Motor vehicle registrations

The Georgia Motor Vehicle Division is extending all motor vehicle registrations that have expired from March 16 and will expire by May 14. The registrations are extended through May 15.

The extension applies to personal passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and vehicles registered in the Georgia International Registration Plan. The extension also includes temporary operating permits, or drive-off tags, issued when a vehicle is purchased.

March 25th

Local hospitals change visitation policies

Starting today, the following hospitals will only allow one essential visitor to protect other visitors, patients and healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health
  • The Medical Center, Navicent Health
  • Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health
  • Navicent Health Baldwin
  • Rehabilitation Hospital, Navicent Health
  • Monroe County Hospital, Navicent Health Partner
  • Putnam General Hospital, Navicent Health Partner
  • Coliseum Medical Centers
  • Coliseum Northside Hospital
  • Houston Medical Center
  • Perry Hospital

What is an “essential visitor?” Navicent Health and Houston Healthcare defines them as individuals accompanying the following kinds of patients:

  • Minor patients under the age of 18
  • Patients at end of life/in hospice and/or palliative care
  • Patients who need a healthcare decision maker or visitor to help with communication and/or mobility
  • Patients in labor and delivery and/or family birth centers (including partner and birth coach)
  • Patients in intensive care

For more details and updated hospital policies, visit the following websites:

Navicent Health launches online screening program

Navicent Health created an online COVID-19 risk assessment tool for people worried about their risk for the new coronavirus. Here’s more from the hospital:

“The risk assessment will ask general screening questions typically asked at one of Navicent Health’s clinical points of entry. Once the assessment is complete, the tool will offer suggestions based on the user’s responses, including

  • Reviewing any symptoms
  • When to contact your primary care provider
  • When to contact one of Navicent Health’s Urgent Care Centers

Additional COVID-19 resources may be found at www.navicenthealth.org, including Navicent Health’s visitation policy and an FAQ on COVID-19.”

Robins Financial Credit Union to limit “access to physical branch locations”

Robins Financial Credit Union announced, beginning Tuesday, that access to physical branch locations will be limited to minimize the risk to members and staff.

“Drive-thru service will be available at branches as well as limited in-branch appointments,” the credit union said in a release. “Requests for appointments will be done using the request form on the COVID-19 information page on the Robins Financial Credit Union website. Additionally, customer service agents are available during normal business hours to assist members over the phone at 478-923-3773 or 800-241-2405.”

March 22nd

Health departments scale back services during outbreak

North Central Health District announced in a release that local health departments in Baldwin, Crawford, Hancock, Houston, Jasper, Jones, Macon-Bibb, Monroe, Peach, Putnam, Twiggs, Washington and Wilkinson Counties will limit services until further notice.

Those in need of clinical services should call ahead to make an appointment. These changes go into effect immediately.

Here is the list of services that will be available:

  • STD & HIV testing
  • Birth control
  • Tuberculosis program
  • Immunizations for children age 5 and younger
  • Tdap vaccination
  • Hepatitis A vaccination
  • Medicaid enrollment for women’s health and pregnancy
  • WIC program vouchers

March 21st

Coronavirus impacts Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority

Starting Monday, you can ride Macon-Bibb County’s public buses for free. But riders will be required to submit to temperature checks if they board outside the the transfer station because of coronavirus concerns.

Other temporary measures include reduced service routes and closure of the Macon Bibb County Transit Authority’s transfer station to the public and locking of its restrooms. For more about the changes, read here.

Houston County limits public access to government buildings

Houston County will be limiting public access to buildings and facilities during regular business hours starting on Monday until April 3, the county government posted on its Facebook page.

The post includes a single-page list of affected departments and functions, along with locations and main telephone numbers.

The move was made out of “an abundance of caution” due to the county’s first case of COVID-19.

Warner Robins police modify some daily operations

The public lobby of the Warner Robins Police Department has been closed in response to COVID-19, the agency posted on its Facebook page.

Police incident and accidents reports may be requested online. To make a police report, call 911. Non-emergency calls may be directed to a Teleserve officer.

Bonding and all other inquires should be made by calling the police department’s main number at 1-478-302-5378.

Georgia Department of Driver Services closes centers

The state Department of Driver Services has closed all of its 67 Customer Service Centers until April 1 due to coronavirus concerns, the agency posted on Facebook.

Customers are urged to consider using DDS Online Services or the DDS 2 GO app, the Facebook post said.

March 20th

Peach County limits or discontinues public access

Peach County has limited or discontinued public access to government buildings and facilities after its first positive COVID-19 case.

That’s planned through March 31, but could be extended, the Peach County Board of Commissioners posted on its Facebook page.

County employees are expected to report to work as usual and may be reached by phone or other electronic means.

Middle Georgia Community Food bank is available

For those that are unable to obtain food due to complications of the coronavirus pandemic, the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank has provided two phone numbers to call for assistance:

Main Phone Number Mid. Ga. Food Bank: (478) 742-3958

Alternate Phone Number Mid. Ga. Food Bank: (478) 2576421

Houston County Public Library System

All branch locations in Warner Robins, Centerville and Perry will close at 6 p.m. Friday until further notice due to coronavirus concerns.

All library-owned Chromebooks have been checked out.

“Please use our Wi-Fi and other online resources,” the library system posted on its Facebook page.

March 18th

Peach County

All Peach County Parks and Recreation activities have been suspended, while courts are operating in a limiting capacity, the county government posted on its Facebook page.

“You are asked to please contact the appropriate court prior to visiting the Peach County Courthouse to ensure that we contain the potential spread of the virus,” the post said.

The post includes the phones numbers of the various courts and county departments.

Peach Public Libraries are also temporarily closed.

“No courthouse weddings and weapon permitting/renewals are suspended at this time,” the post said.

*All Information listed is sourced from the Macon Telegraph Coronavirus News page.