Mayor David Pennington declared a state of emergency in Dalton at Monday night’s meeting of the Mayor and Council in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Whitfield County. The state of emergency allows all city departments to provide personnel to Hamilton Medical Center to supplement their staffing needs.
The latest information shared by Hamilton Medical Center indicates there were 63 patients hospitalized with COVID on Monday afternoon. Of those 63, 12 are in the ICU and 8 are currently on ventilators. City administrator Andrew Parker on Monday night also cited information from the Georgia Department of Health that indicated there have been at least 700 new COVID infections confirmed in Whitfield County in the past two weeks.
Mayor Pennington’s declaration calls for the activation of the city’s local emergency operations plan to detail city personnel to the hospital to supplement their staff. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hamilton Medical Center that Mayor Pennington read aloud at Monday night’s meeting states that the city of Dalton will be able to provide personnel with paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training to the hospital as well as personnel able to assist in stocking and handling supplies and providing general assistance to the regular hospital staff. The MOU also states that at no time shall any city employee perform any function at the hospital unless under director supervision and direction of Hamilton Medical Center nurses, physicians, technicians, or designated staff.
The full text of the emergency declaration and the MOU can be read below.