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North GA - National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 24 – 30, 2022. Each year, NIIW focuses on the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children — and this year it’s a priority to ensure that families stay on track for routine checkups and vaccinations following disruptions from COVID-19.

On-time vaccination is critical to help provide protection against potentially life-threatening diseases.

During NIIW, the North Georgia Health District encourages residents to remind their loved ones and community members to schedule children’s routine well-child visits and vaccinations. Contact your Health Department in North Georgia in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens or Whitfield County to arrange an appointment for your child, or call your child's private healthcare provider.

Click HERE to learn more about National Infant Immunization Week.

 Closed Early in Cherokee

Cherokee County, GA – Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Cherokee County Health Department's Canton and Woodstock Health Centers closed early today, Thursday, April 21st. We apologize for this inconvenience, but both health centers will reopen tomorrow morning, Friday, April 22nd. Please find here on our website the address, phone number and clinic hours for each of these health centers at


MAKO COVID 19 Testing News

Ellijay, GA – The Mako Medical Drive-thru COVID-19 Test site in Ellijay will be closed on Friday, April 22nd, due to another scheduled event at the Gilmer County Civic Center Parks and Recreation location where the test site operates.

All MAKO Medical COVID-19 testing locations and normal operating hours in North Georgia are:

Pleasant Grove Park
1732 Pleasant Grove Drive, N.E., Dalton, GA 30721
Monday – Friday: 8 AM – 3 PM
Gilmer County Civic Center Parks and Recreation
1561 South Main Street, Ellijay, GA 30540
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8 AM – 2 PM (Closed Friday, April 22nd)
JJ Biello Park Riverside Athletic Complex
610 Druw Cameron Court, Woodstock, GA 30188
Monday – Friday: 8 AM – 3 PM

Public health officials continue to urge people to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status, if they have COVID-19 type symptoms or have been in recent close contact to a person infected with the virus.

COVID-19 testing is free at these sites and there are no eligibility requirements other than having a Georgia address and registering at This is PCR testing done by a mid-nasal swab to determine the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. It is not an antigen or antibody test.

Skunk bannerDalton, GA – According to Whitfield County Environmental Health Manager Chad Mulkey, a woman residing near a forested area in southeast Whitfield County reported on Friday, April 8th that two of her dogs killed a skunk as it ate dog food in their pen.

The incident occurred in the Tilton Road, SE and Nance Springs Drive, SE area.

Mulkey instructed the woman on how to refrigerate the skunk over the weekend until he could ship it for rabies testing.

The head was shipped to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory on Monday the 11th and the positive test results were returned late in the day on Tuesday, April 12th.

The dog owner was informed of the results the following morning. Because the dogs had immediately licked her hands where there were open scratches, Mulkey advised her to speak with her personal physician and the Georgia Poison Control Center to determine if preventive post-exposure rabies treatment would be advisable. Generally, this kind of secondary contact through pets is not considered human rabies exposure, buteach case must be considered individually and is a decision between the person and their physician with  recommendations from public health.

Once clinical symptoms appear, rabies is virtually 100% fatal. In up to 99% of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to humans. Rabies can affect both domestic and wild mammals. It is spread to people and among mammal species through direct bites or scratches from the infected animal.

The dogs involved in this case were previously vaccinated against rabies at least twice prior to this incident, so they will only need a booster shot and close observation.

Health officials urge residents to be wary of any unfamiliar animals, both domestic and wild, and to maintain rabies vaccinations in their pets.

For more information about rabies and its prevention, log onto