The Jefferson County Commission has declared a state of emergency related to the COVID-19. Locally, city and county agencies are taking extreme measures to protect the public. At least one person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Gardendale and Mayor Stan Hogeland said other positive test are likely in the coming days.
•All city events are postponed until further notice, most notably the city’s planned Vietnam Memorial Ceremony that was scheduled for next Monday.
•The court clerk’s office is open, but all city court sessions will be suspended until further notice and all March and April court dates will be continued to a future date. For more information, call the city court at 205.841.1430 or make online payments at https://fultondaleal.goveportal.com/
•The Fultondale Senior Center is closed until further notice. The center is working with Meals on Wheels to meet the needs of the seniors. Contact 205.849.0916 for more information.
•The Fultondale Public Library is closed to visitors until further notice. The lobby will remain open so materials can be returned and materials can be checked out by phone and will be left in the lobby for patrons. Call 205.849.6335 for more information.
•All park and recreation activities are canceled until further notice.
•Fultondale Gas will remain open to the public and will provide normal services. Patrons are encouraged to use the 24-hour drop box for payments.
•Fultondale Police and Fire Departments are open and serving citizens as normal. They do ask that callers in need of assistance warn the dispatcher of any illness in the household or potential exposure and then alert the first responders on the scene as well.
In a statement posted on their Facebook page, Fultondale Fire Department said, in part, “Please understand how important it is for us to keep our Firefighters/EMTs/Paramedics and Police Officers healthy. We will take all necessary precautions as usual; but, the more information we have about the patient, the better. Thank you in advance for your help.”
Mayor Jim Lowery ended the announcements of closures with a quote to encourage Fultondale residents, “I am confident that our community will pull together during this critical time and we will emerge stronger after this crisis, just as well did with he Tornado of 2011.”
Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland called an emergency meeting of the city’s department heads on Sunday afternoon and announced the city’s closures via his Facebook page later that night.
•The senior center is closed until further notice. Meals will be delivered via the Meals on Wheels Program that usually serves home-bound seniors.
•The Civic Center will not have fitness classes and all fitness rooms, racquetball court, gym and locker rooms are closed. The walking tracks inside and outside will remain open. Meetings scheduled for the civic center are being reviewed on an individual basis.
•All youth sports, games and practices are suspended. Parks and tennis courts are open for individual use.
•The library is closed and all programs are canceled. Patrons may call the library at 205.631.6639 to request items or use the online reserve system through the website, gardendalelibrary.org.
•The City Court will remain open. Anyone with questions can call 205.631.7155 for more information.
“I appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through this difficult time together,” Hogeland closed his post. “May God bless and protect our community.”
The City of Kimberly has decided to limit access to city hall in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“As of this morning, we’ve kind of gone into shutdown mode by handling everything over the phone or by email,” said Kimberly Mayor Bob Ellerbrock on Monday afternoon.
Although business is still being done in city hall, Kimberly plans to limit public access to the building. The Kimberly Police Department posted the following statement to Facebook on Monday morning:
“Due to the Coronavirus threat, the City Hall is currently closed to customers. Our staff is on duty on Monday - Friday from 8 to 5. Please call us at 205-647-5551 and we will try to help you over the phone.
“For police matters, you may call 205-647-5531.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.”
Ellerbrock said matters would be handled in a case-by-case manner, and exceptions could possibly be made for things that must be handled in person. He also added that the Kimberly Senior Center is closed until further notice.
The Kimberly City Council is scheduled to meet next on Monday, March 23.
“If we have a meeting, it has to be open to the public,” said Ellerbrock.
Morris has canceled the Food Truck Friday scheduled for March 20.
The town court is also closed from March 16 to April 16. The court date for April 21 will still be held as scheduled and a make up day will be held on April 28 to replace the March 17 date that is now canceled.
The city took action Monday to eliminate all non-essential personnel and services to limit the potential for COVID-19 exposure. Emergency services remain open to serve the public.
The public library is closed but a message posted on its Facebook said: “Please hold all materials until the Library reopens. Fines will be waived on materials during the Library closing. The due date for all items currently checked out has been extended until April 15.”
All Jefferson County Schools are cancelled until at least April 6.
By order of the Jefferson County Health Department, all gatherings of 25 people or more are prohibited.
The order also:
•Closes all senior centers but encourages them to serve patrons via curbside pickup or delivery services where available.
•closes all private schools, preschools and child care centers with 12 or more children until at least April 6.
•prohibits visitors and non-essential personnel from entering nursing homes, except in compassionate care situations, such as end of life.
•prohibits all restaurants, bars or breweries, including food courts, from serving on-premises food or drink for one week. That will be evaluated prior to next Tuesday to see if they can reopen. They can serve take-out or delivery of food.