News Flash

City News Releases

Posted on: June 29, 2020

COVID 19 Updates & Information

Covid 19

The City of Madison continues to meet with Health Officials to stay abreast of the COVID-19 status in our area. Find information on testing, and precautions to take locally through the pandemic. Madison remains in a State of Emergency to allow leaders to make quick decisions regarding gatherings and/or purchasing needs. Please practice social distancing, wear masks in public, and thoroughly wash hands throughout the day. The following links are trusted and verified sources for our community:

News from ADPH on Vaccine Roll Out:

Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has announced ADPH will provide COVID-19 vaccinations for people 75 years or older, first responders, including law enforcement and firefighters, statewide by appointment only effective January 18. Appointments at locations throughout the state are made first come, first serve. The addition of these groups is not a full expansion into the next phase of the vaccine rollout.

“I appreciate the swift work of ADPH to establish a system to efficiently provide our limited resources of vaccine to as many Alabamians as possible,” Gov. Ivey said. “We have previously worked to provide vaccines to our health care workers who are on the front lines of the pandemic, and now, are diligently working to expand access to our seniors, law enforcement officers and various members of our first responders. It is critical for everyone to remain patient; demand is high, and supply is low. ADPH and their partners are working around-the-clock to assist as many people as they can.”


Alabama continues to vaccinate more than 326,000 health care workers and nursing home residents who are most at-risk of contracting COVID-19. As the vaccine uptake for this category is satisfied, ADPH is now encouraging sites to vaccinate persons in the 75-plus age group and those in the law enforcement and firefighter vocations in order to prevent any loss of vaccine due to cold chain storage requirements.
“We recognize that demand for vaccine exceeds supply,” said State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. “While there is still an insufficient amount of the vaccine supply, we want to maximize our resources to help protect Alabamians at high risk. County health departments are working with their local points of distribution to assess what their vaccination reach has been. Decisions about the next groups to vaccinate are made at the community level with community engagement. If the very high-risk population has been covered adequately, providers can then begin vaccinating people in the other priority groups.”
Nearly 350,000 people in the state of Alabama would qualify for a vaccine at 75 years old and older. 


To schedule an appointment for the free COVID-19 vaccination at a county health department, individuals may call the ADPH toll-free phone number at 1-855-566-5333. Telephone calls are answered from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. seven days a week. Vaccination locations can be viewed at this link, https://go.usa.gov/xARKpand additional specific information, such as what to bring and what to wear, will be provided when appointments are made. 


If wanting to be vaccinated at sites other than a county health department, such as a private provider, individuals should contact those sites directly.
For information about COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://go.usa.gov/xARKE.

State Mandate:

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey issued her twenty-second supplemental emergency proclamation extending the Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This order extends until Friday, March 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Extended Safer at Home Order (Spanish Version)

Safer at Home Info Sheet 1

Safer at Home Info Sheet 2

Safer at Home Info Sheet 3

Twenty-second Supplemental Emergency Proclamation



Face coverings required in Madison County effective Tuesday, July 7

CONTACT: Karen Landers, M.D.
(256) 383-1231

Madison County Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers has issued a health order requiring most people to wear face coverings in public places in Madison County to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The order takes effect on July 7 at 5 p.m.

"We need to do all we can to limit the spread of COVID-19," State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. "Until we have a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, wearing a face covering in public is a key measure we have available to prevent transmission of the virus."

This health order has the unanimous support of the Madison County Board of Health, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Madison Mayor Paul Finley, and County Commission Chair Dale Strong.

"This is a simple math problem," said Mayor Battle. "Since June 16, the number of positive cases in Madison County has tripled, and the number of hospitalizations has increased 660 percent. We need to take precautionary measures, such as wearing face covers, distancing 6 feet, and handwashing to provide a safe environment for our citizens." Finley said, "Since day one we as elected officials have said we would work to find the balance of personal versus economic health. While personal responsibility is still paramount, our dramatic rising numbers dictate this step be taken to continue to support all citizens’ safety."

A face covering is defined as a device to cover the nose and mouth of a person to impede the spread of saliva or other fluids during speaking, coughing, sneezing, or other intentional or involuntary action. Medical-grade masks are not required. Coverings may be made from scarves, bandanas, or other fabrics.

COVID-19 infection is usually spread to others through a respiratory route, and this can occur without symptoms. Studies illustrate how COVID-19 can be spread through speaking, coughing, and sneezing--including by asymptomatic people. Face coverings create a barrier between a person’s face and the air around him or her. Face coverings prevent people from spreading respiratory droplets and can prevent them from acquiring the virus from others.

Face coverings are required in the following Madison County locations:

  • Indoor spaces of businesses or venues open to the public, including stores, bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, public meeting spaces, or government buildings.
  • Transportation services available to the public, including mass transit, paratransit, taxi, or ride-sharing services.
  • Outdoor areas open to the public where 10 or more persons are gathered and where people are unable to maintain a distance of 6 or more feet between persons not from the same household.

Exceptions to wearing face coverings or masks include:

  • Children age 2 and under.
  • Persons while eating or drinking.
  • Patients in examination rooms of medical offices, dental offices, clinics or hospitals where there examination of the mouth or nasal area is necessary.
  • Customers receiving hair care services, temporary removal of face coverings when needed to provide hair care.
  • Occasions when wearing a face covering poses a significant mental or physical health, safety or security risk. These include worksite risks.
  • Although not mandated, face coverings are strongly recommended for congregants at worship services and for situations where people from different households are unable to or unlikely to maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other.
  • When effective communication is needed for hearing-impaired persons and those speaking to a large group of people, provided the speaker can stay at least 6 feet away from other persons.
  • Indoor athletic facilities. Patrons are not required to wear face coverings while actively participating in permitted athletic activities, but employees in regular interaction with patrons are required to wear face coverings or masks.
  • Private clubs and gatherings not open to the public and where a consistent 6-foot distance between persons from different households is maintained.

Parents, guardians and caregivers must ensure the proper masking of children over age 2 in public places, ensure face coverings do not pose a choking hazard for children and can be worn safely without obstructing a child’s ability to breathe. Childcare establishments and schools are to develop their face covering policies and procedures.

All businesses and venues open to the public must provide a notice stating that face coverings are required inside the establishment. Signage is required at all public entrances

Dr. Harris said, "Wearing a face covering can help keep family, co-workers, and community safe. This is the simplest act of kindness you can take for yourself, your family and your community, especially for those who are at high risk of contracting the virus.”

The Alabama Department of Public Health advises these actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Social distance by staying 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Stay home if you can; work remotely if possible
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when around others
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Monitor your health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides instructions about the use of face coverings at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

For more information, visit alabamapublichealth.gov.

County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.

07/06/2020

ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
RSA Tower 201 Monroe Street, Suite 910, Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 206-5300 | Fax: (334) 206-5520

Madison City Schools Alternative Learning

Huntsville Hospital Fever and Flu Clinic

Crestwood Medical Center Patient Guidelines

Alabama Department of Public Health

CDC Corona Virus Guidelines

World Health Organization

Huntsville Madison County Chamber Economic and Business Resources

CDC Guidelines for Critical Infrastructure Workers


ADPH Hotline Information:

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has activated a statewide informational hotline and a general information e-mail address to field questions from the public about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The addition of a hotline for general questions will give the public the ability to speak with someone who can direct them to information that will lead to better informed decisions to protect their health.

The toll-free hotline and e-mail address are as follows:

· COVID-19 General Information - 800-270-7268
Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily.

· The COVID-19 General Information Email address - covid19info@adph.state.al.us

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation. This phone number is 888-264-2256. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them.

The ADPH website at alabamapublichealth.gov also offers a wealth of information and guidance about COVID-19 recommendations. Frequently asked questions are answered at  http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/cov-faq.html


ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Governor Kay Ivey announced that small businesses across Alabama negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are eligible for assistance under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

***Special Message from Governor Ivey to Small Businesses***

Click here to register for free webinars and learn more about the application process: ASBDC.org/register

 The program will help qualified businesses and non-profit organizations recover from economic losses tied to the abrupt downturn triggered by the COVID-19 disease.

 “Small businesses represent the backbone of Alabama’s economy, and many of them need immediate help in these trying times,” Governor Ivey said. “My team has worked closely with the SBA in recent days to make this economic assistance possible. We’re all grateful to President Trump and the SBA for responding rapidly to the problems faced by small businesses in Alabama.”

 SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for an eligible small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

 These low-interest loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

 Businesses must qualify for EIDL assistance. For more information, go to the SBA’s COVID-19 disaster assistance web page.

 Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the department’s Office of Small Business Advocacy has heard from many small business owners around the state who are being squeezed by the sudden decline in economic activity brought on by the emergence of coronavirus.

 “Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities all across Alabama, employing local residents and sustaining economic vitality,” Secretary Canfield said. “It’s critical that small businesses around the state remain healthy, and the SBA’s disaster loan program could prove to be a lifeline for many of them.”


 Commerce worked with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and the Alabama Small Business Development Center to prepare Alabama’s application for the SBA’s EIDL program. The SBA granted Alabama’s application today.

 “This was a team effort that will help many small business owners in Alabama make it through this crisis and move forward to thrive once again,” Governor Ivey said.

 According to data from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, there are nearly 400,000 small businesses in Alabama, employing nearly half of all Alabama workers.


COVID Scams

The Madison community needs to be aware of potential scams concerning COVID-19. The FCC has received reports of scam and hoax text message campaigns and scam robocalls offering free home testing kits, promoting bogus cures, selling health insurance, and preying on virus-related fears. Do not answer any text, email or phone messages asking for your personal or financial information. 

Find more information at https://www.fcc.gov/covid-scams.


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