As numbers rise, cities go back to drive-thru
With positive cases of COVID-19 increasing across Escambia County (Ala.) municipalities and the county are implementing new policies in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and keep employees and customers safe.
Figures released by the Escambia County Health Care Authority show a jump of 103 positive tests from Friday to Tuesday with 396 confirmed cases in Tuesday's report. Other reporting agencies have the numbers for the county higher.
The town of Flomaton announced Friday that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19. In response the town of Flomaton is disinfecting all municipal buildings and workspaces on a routine basis, however, after the exposure the fire department was professionally disinfected.
The town has closed all municipal buildings to visitors and any court or utility payments can be made at the drive-thru window at town hall. Town employees have been provided face masks and have been directed to wear them in accordance with a directive from Mayor Dewey Bondurant, Jr.
The Flomaton Town Council will once again conduct its council meeting via a telephone conference Monday afternoon. People wanting to listen to the meeting should dial 251-732-3018 and use the access identification code 062743. The time of the meeting was not set as of press time Wednesday but will be posted at town hall and on the town's website.
The Brewton Area YMCA also announced Friday, July 3, that a member using the facility had tested positive for the virus. In an announcement, the YMCA staff said the Alabama Department of Public Health was made aware of the positive test. The person who tested positive was last in the YMCA on Monday, June 29 from about 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and used an adult lockerroom and swam laps in the pool.
The YMCA was closed for a day to allow extensive cleaning throughout the building.
Beginning Monday, July 6, the city of Brewton also implemented restrictions to public buildings.
The drive-thru window for the utility department will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The lobby will not be open until further notice.
Utility payments can be made online at http://www.cityofbrewton.org.
The city clerk's office is closed and employees are working remotely. People needing to schedule an appointment with the clerk's office can call 251-809-1772 and leave a message. Questions for the clerk's office can be sent by email to [email protected]. Someone will check the emails daily.
Brewton's Municipal Court will also be closed until further notice. People with questions about the city's court system can call 251-809-1760 or email questions to [email protected].
Escambia (Ala.) Courts
Escambia County Circuit Court was scheduled to have a status call for the criminal docket on Thursday, July 9 beginning at 9 a.m. for the September jury term, but on July 6, Presiding Circuit Judge Dave Jordan issued an order saying it will not be held as scheduled.
In his order, Judge Jordan said parties in all cases set on the docket should file with the court, a status report indicating whether, in that party's opinion, a specific case will be ready to be set for trial or not in September. The judge noted the court will then decide what cases will be set for the Sept. 14-25 term.
In his order, Judge Jordan noted that his order did not mean that jury trials would definitely be held in September.
“The status of of that jury term, as well as jury trials in general in the state of Alabama, remains in question due to the pandemic,” Jordan wrote. “At this time the circuit courts of this state are not allowed to summon potential jurors for court by order of the Supreme Court of Alabama.”