Commission makes announcements in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Published 3:24 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Dallas County Commission hosted a press conference Wednesday morning to inform citizens of measures they’re taking to keep Dallas County citizens and employees safe during the COVID – 19 pandemic affecting the globe.

“I want to first and foremost thank everyone who is on the frontlines in fighting the novel coronavirus and extend our thoughts and prayers to the families that have been affected by COVID – 19,” said Dallas County Probate Judge and Commission Chairman Jimmy Nunn. ‘The safety and well bei9ng of our citizens and our employees is our top priority. We are actively monitoring the COVID – 19 situations and taking necessary measures to help keep our community safe.”

Nunn announced that the Dallas County Commission would meet on Monday to approve a resolution declaring a state of emergency in Dallas County and would also allocate $200,000 from the general fund toward personal protection equipment (PPE) and staff appropriations to assist in combating the virus.

According to Nunn, a state of emergency is being declared by the commission so that the county will have the opportunity to be reimbursed for virus related expenses.

“Based on recommendations from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Dallas County Commission has already implemented emergency measures to reduce risk of transmission of the virus, protect the public and maintain operations within the county,” said Nunn. “Our priority is to provide the greatest protection to our employees and to the public.”

According to Nunn, access to both the court house and annex will be limited to the Alley way which will be stationed by Dallas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) personnel who will provide sanitizer, gloves and masks to entrees.

Nunn also announced the following safety measures that will implement future commission meetings in the near future:

  • For the next 60 days, the Dallas County Commission will only meet once per month rather than the usual twice per month.
  • Commission meetings will now be held in the main courtroom on the second floor of the Dallas County Courthouse as opposed to the commission chambers of the annex so to allow those in attendance to sit at least six feet away from one another.
  • A nurse or DCSO personnel will be stationed at the entrance of each meeting to examine individuals entering the meeting and provide them with sanitizer, gloves and masks.
  • The Dallas County Commission will temporarily suspend the public comment section of their meeting, limiting the meeting to only “essential business” and will allow department heads to present written reports to the commission.

Nunn announced that in order to minimize the risk of exposure of the community to the virus, the commission has postponed all recreational activities including games and practices scheduled at the Dallas County Sportsplex until April 4, when the situation will then be reevaluated.

The Probate Jude and Commission Chairman the stated that Gov. Kay Ivey has declared that the runoff election slated for March 31 will be rescheduled for July 14.

According to Nunn, any new information that arises will be promptly posted to the county’s website.

Dallas County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Toya Stiles announced that, as of Wednesday’s press conference, there are no confirmed cases of COVID – 19 in Dallas County.

Stiles added that while there are currently no testing sites in Dallas County, testing is available in Demopolis and Montgomery.

Stiles said those seeking testing information can call 1-888-264-2256.