Healthy people, families, and communities.


Omicron Variant web banner

North Georgia Health District officials continue to urge all residents age 5 and older to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including the primary series and boosters (for people 18+); to get tested if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19; and, to follow the CDC recommendations, as mentioned in the (DPH) press release. COVID-19 vaccine is available with no need for an appointment during clinic hours at our health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties, and free COVID-19 testing (PCR) is available in our health district through MAKO Medical. Please find on our website details for COVID-19 vaccine and testing offered by public health in North Georgia or go to to find all locations where the vaccine and testing are available in Georgia.

Please note in the following NEW update from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) that the Omicron variant has now been confirmed in an unvaccinated metro Atlanta resident with no recent international travel history. This is the 3rd confirmed case in a Georgia resident. Please see the full DPH press release by clicking on this pdf link just below:
December 9, 2021

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed the Omicron variant in an unvaccinated metro Atlanta resident with no recent international travel history. The individual has mild COVID symptoms and is isolating at home. Contact tracing is underway to identify close contacts at risk of COVID-19 infection.

Previously, two cases of the Omicron variant were confirmed in metro Atlanta residents. One of those individuals was tested in New Jersey and is recovering there.

The omicron variant has now been detected in patients in at least 21 U.S. states and in dozens of countries around the world. Preliminary data show that Omicron may cause less severe illness but may spread more easily than the Delta variant. Scientists are still researching how well the current COVID vaccines or natural immunity hold up against Omicron, and caution that it is too early to make conclusions about Omicron because there is not enough data available.

Winter Weather Preparedness Week web

Winter Weather Preparedness Week

In conjunction with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, and along with many of our core partners, December 6-10 is recognized as Winter Weather Preparedness Week this year in Georgia. 

Each day will be focused on a specific winter weather-related topic:

WWPWMonday, Dec. 6: Winter Weather in Georgia   -- learn about various winter weather hazards that can impact the state of Georgia

Winter storms, which often affect North Georgia, result in extreme cold, downed power lines and blocked roads and highways.

Prepare for the Winter with such items as:
  • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats.
  • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace.
  • Kerosene heater, with proper ventilation.

CDC Banner




Per the following CDC press release dated Wednesday, December 1, 2021, please know that although no cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have been reported yet in Georgia, the North Georgia Health District is:

  • Continuing to urge residents ages 5 and up to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including 3rd shots and boosters – COVID-19 vaccine is available for free and without need of an appointment at all our health departments during clinic hours in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties - please click HERE for details.
  • Encouraging COVID-19 testing for anyone who has any symptoms or believes they may have been exposed to the virus. MAKO Medical Services has collaborated with public health to operate Free COVID-19 PCR Testing in all our counties - please click HERE.
  • Reminding residents to continue following the CDC recommendations to protect against the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and wearing a mask in public, as appropriate - please link HERE to the CDC website

Media Statement

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Contact: CDC Media Relations (404) 639-3286

First confirmed case of Omicron variant detected in the United States

The California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health have confirmed that a recent case of COVID-19 among an individual in California was caused by the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529). The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021. The individual, who was fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been since testing positive. All close contacts have been contacted and have tested negative.

Genomic sequencing was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco and the sequence was confirmed at CDC as being consistent with the Omicron variant. This will be the first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant detected in the United States.