Chattooga County Probate Judge goes into ICU with Covid-19

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2026

SUMMERVILLE, Georgia (WDEF) – Family members says the Probate Judge of Chattooga County has been admitted to ICU.

Judge Jon Payne tested positive for Covid-19 and was admitted to a hospital in Rome last week.

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The 71 year old judge is not running for reelection this fall and planned to retire at the end of his term.

Here is the statement from the family:

Jon has been placed in ICU in a Floyd County Hospital and is going through intense respiratory therapy. He speaks with family members for short periods of time as he can. He is considered in serious condition and is receiving the best available care known to combat the Chinese Virus. He sends his love to the people of Chattooga and asks for your continued prayers. The Judges wants every citizen of Chattooga County to know that he has the utmost confidence in his staff and assures you the citizens that the Probate Court Office will continue to function during his time of sickness.

Please also know that several people have placed information on Facebook that was unauthorized by this family. We cannot control that type of behavior, but ask that you as citizens to realize that it is unauthorized in order to hopefully keep the rumors to a minimum.

Marlie Payne, Jon’s daughter is recovering from the virus and is feeling better.

Tommy Payne, Class of 1970,
Marla Wise, Class of 1969

Our family remains
CHATTOOGA STRONG.

Chattooga County schools were some of the first to return to class last week.

The jail in Summerville has had an outbreak of Covid-19 cases among the staff, but no prisoners had tested positive as of a few days ago.

According to state numbers, the county has 5 people in the hospital now being treated for Covid-19 symptoms.