CITY OF ANNISTON PRESS RELEASE - MARCH 20th, 2020
The City of Anniston would like its citizens to be aware that Calhoun County currently has one confirmed case of COVID-19 as of 03/20/20 at 10:00AM (Link: https://bit.ly/3admZ3K). According to the Alabama Dept. of Public Health (ADPH), there are eighty-one confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alabama and no deaths. The ADPH will update the state’s case count on their website twice a day, and cases confirmed after 4:00PM will be added the next day. At this time, the ADPH has adopted the policy of not sharing the personal information of a confirmed COVID-19 patient, as to protect their personal privacy. Please be aware that residents can text “CALCOVID” to 888-777 to receive text message updates from the Calhoun County EMA related to COVID-19 (Link: https://bit.ly/2WwES9q). Furthermore, understand that Regional Medical Center (RMC) has initiated a drive thru COVID-19 testing clinic; however, prior to visiting this site, residents must first be evaluated by their healthcare provider in order to receive the required referral form to this drive-thru clinic site. Residents with any questions on this process are instructed to call 256-235-5600 (Link: https://bit.ly/2J3esEl).
It is expected that additional positive cases may emerge in the coming days, as testing for COVID-19 continues to expand. The City of Anniston is monitoring daily updates and following guidelines from the ADPH and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Through the coming days, the City of Anniston staff will continue to work diligently to keep our buildings disinfected. The city has increased its routine cleaning to ensure common areas have been disinfected daily. It is a standard practice that hand sanitizers are provided for the employees throughout City Hall and other city buildings. These guidelines have been implemented in protocols established by the city to address potential exposure to COVID-19.
Anniston city leadership urges all of its citizens to continue social distancing practices, and to adhere to the health and safety guidelines set forth by the CDC, the ADPH, as well as the Alabama State Health Officer’s mandatory health orders, which were issued by Governor Kay Ivey and that took effect yesterday (03/18/20) until 04/06/20 (Link: https://bit.ly/397mA1g). In light of this, effective immediately, the Alabama Department of Revenue is extending relief to small businesses that are unable to timely pay their February, March, and April sales tax liabilities (Link: https://bit.ly/2J1G9NT).
Conclusively, be it known that in an effort to adhere our community to the safest practices recommended by both the CDC and the Alabama Dept. of Public Health, the City of Anniston will take the following precautionary measures for the health and safety of our residents:
PUBLIC CENTERS - TEMPORARY CLOSURE
Changes to Operating Hours Until April 6, 2020: The following City of Anniston public centers will temporarily close to the public (effective Monday, 03/23/20) until 04/06/20, at which time their closure will be reevaluated: Carver Community Center, Norwood Hodges Community Center, South Highland Community Center, Wiggins Community Center, Anniston Aquatic & Fitness Center, and the Anniston City Meeting Center. At this time, discussions are on-going as to Anniston City Council Meeting procedures; therefore, please be vigilant as to future updates in regard to said procedure. The Anniston Senior Citizen & Therapeutic Recreation Center will remain closed, yet continue its homebound and congregate meal programs, as well as its therapeutic program. The Anniston Museums and Gardens will also remain temporarily closed, and shall be reevaluated on 04/30/20.
Note, that all of the above locations will maintain their phone lines (Link: https://bit.ly/2J1QREf), Monday through Friday from 8:00AM until 5:00PM each day, and shall have emergency staff on-site during that same time period. In addition, Anniston City Hall will temporarily close to the public (effective Monday, 03/23/20) until 04/06/20, at which time its closure will be reevaluated. Understand that online payments for sanitation, traffic citations, business licenses, and planning permits are available on the city’s website at: https://bit.ly/2Uux6dQ. Nevertheless, all payments may be made in-person, through appointment, by calling City of Anniston Finance Director, Julie Borrelli, at 256-231-7780. All payments may also be made over the phone, between the Monday through Friday hours of 10:00AM until 2:00PM, by calling 256-231-7780.
This temporary closure of facilities will not affect the City of Anniston’s business operations, as all public services (i.e. brush pick-up, works orders, inspections...etc.) will remain available and may be contacted via phone or email (Link: https://bit.ly/3dgJd6y) between the Monday through Friday hours of 8:00AM until 5:00PM.