By Marla Jones, Managing Editor • email@example.com
DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — DeKalb County Commission President, Rickey Harcrow ordered the DeKalb County Buildings to be closed on Thursday, July 2 at 2:00 p.m.
This closure will enable the county staff to implement measures to deep clean offices according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance due to the recent rise in COVID-19.
All counties will reopen on Monday, July 6.
Based on the Governor's announcement Tuesday of the extension of the Safer at Home order related to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency has recommended that the government offices remain vigilant and use all possible ways to protect both citizens and employees. Therefore, the EMA has recommended that county offices be closed to the public other than a period from 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m. when offices will be open for the public. It is also recommended that if possible those who need to visit the courthouse or other county buildings should make an appointment.
Based on these recommendations, DeKalb County President Ricky Harcrow has ordered county offices to be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday; beginning July 6 and running thru July 31 when the order from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Governor’s office is expected to be reevaluated.
County employees will be at work normal business hours and some business may be done based on making an appointment with the office.
This order will not affect absentee voting, but those needing to vote outside the 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. only need to advise security personnel they are there to vote. Absentee voting ends Thursday, July 9 for the runoff election.
The sheriff’s office will continue to operate as they have over the last months, taking reports by phone when possible, and continuing to limit access to office personnel. The lobby remains open for pistol permits and other services as needed.
Emergency management officials have also recommended that those visiting public buildings wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.
These actions are based on the fact that the numbers of people testing positive for the CoronaVirus are growing at an alarming rate and DeKalb County is considered one of the more high-risk counties in the state.
According to County Commission President Harcrow, “We realize that people are tired and we all want to get back to a normal state, but we must be vigilant and safe about reopening.” “We want to protect all our residents and must do all we can to remain within the practices called for by the State Health Officer and the Governor’s order.”
According to Emergency Management officials, DeKalb County is one of the fastest-growing positive testing areas in the state and note that it is possible that rates may continue to rise unless residents take the recommendations from the Department of Public Health seriously and stop the rate of transmission of the virus. While many of the cases currently being tested are asymptomatic and in the 20 to 40-year-old population, it is likely that if the pandemic continues at the current rate it is likely to get into the at-risk population which could result in more hospitalizations and deaths.