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Leaders talk municipal elections in coalition call

The Selma-Dallas County Coronavirus Community Coalition, an informal contingent of city leaders and health professionals, held its weekly telephone town hall Tuesday at noon, during which the topic of the upcoming elections was of chief concern.

For his part, Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn stated that his office his taking every precaution to ensure that the elections are safe for voters by requiring all voters to wear a mask, providing gloves and hand sanitizer on election day and regularly sanitizing all surfaces in the polling place, including the tablets used for signing in.

Nunn noted elsewhere in the meeting that similar restrictions and accommodations will be in place when the Dallas County Courthouse next Monday, May 18.

The courthouse will also conduct temperature checks on visitors and only allow 10 to 15 people in at a time to conduct business.

Elsewhere in the meeting, Alabama League of Municipalities Deputy Director Greg Cochran reported on a new revenue portal on its website through which cities can report on lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to provide state leaders with a clear picture of how the crisis has impacted communities across the state.

Cochran noted that the League hopes to present leadership with evidence that the impact is real in and to demonstrate the need to “rebuild the foundation of communities” across the state.

Representatives from both MainStreet Family Care and Rural Health Medical Program (RHMP) reported that their clinics would be taking part in a new government program that provides free testing for uninsured patients.

“This doesn’t mean [that] if you have bad insurance you can choose this way,” a representative from MainStreet stated. “Unfortunately, this is just for people who have no insurance.”

RHMP CEO Keshee Dozier-Smith reported that her organization would be offering a pop-up testing site in Perry County for essential workers later this week and is working to establish similar sites elsewhere.

Additionally, Dozier-Smith reported that RHMP’s mobile unit will make its way to more “remote” portions of the region later this month.

Municipal Court Judge Marvin Wiggins reported that all court proceedings will continue to be held virtually until in-person proceedings resume June 1.

Also on the call was Dave White, a representative in Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s office, who provided an update on the most released health order issued by the governor last week.

White noted that the new order lifts the 10-person limit on gatherings, shifting the focus to maintaining safe distances between people no matter how many are in attendance, which clears the way for a host of gatherings previously off limits, such as church services, weddings, funerals and more, and the opening of locations such as beaches.

Additionally, White reported that restaurants and breweries are again open, though they too must ensure a safe distance between customers, as well as barber shops, nail salons and gyms.