Chilton County COVID-19 Task Force
Focus on Chilton County
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Industrial Development Authority, has created a task force to assist in communicating local response efforts relating to the coronavirus pandemic, and to disseminate important information to local business owners and residents. This task force includes representatives from county and municipal governments, law enforcement, emergency management, first responders, public health agencies, churches and other organizations.
Recognizing the importance of providing timely information to business owners and residents, the task force has designated the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce as the focal point for the dissemination of information relating to community response to the virus. Updates and Information will be posted on the Chamber of Commerce website at www.chiltonchamber.org. Visitors to the page can select COVID-19 Awareness from the menu options. As part of our community outreach, the Chamber of Commerce will also provide updates on Facebook and other social media.
Although the Chamber of Commerce will be the focal point for local information relating to response to the virus, it will be important for residents to continue monitoring other official sources of information.
Topics included on the COVID-19 Awareness section of the website will include coronavirus prevention, business operation directives and updates, county and municipal government policies relating to COVID-19, information relating to federal and state economic stimulus grants, loans and other programs.
Requests to post information or updates on the Chamber of Commerce website should be forward to firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling 205-755-2400 or contacting Billy Singleton at 205-389-0864.
Notes from Chilton County Task Force Meeting
Thursday, April 30, 2020
On Thursday, April 30, 2020 the Chilton County COVID-19 Task Force held the regular scheduled weekly teleconference.
Billy Singleton, Chilton County Chamber of Commerce President called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM with a roll call. Shanon Hamilton St. Vincent’s Chilton Administrator, opened with a word of prayer.
The following is a summary of specific elements of the conference call:
- Chilton County Chamber of Commerce – Billy Singleton reported that the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce Foundation had been awarded the Holle Family Grant, through CAWACO RC&D Council, in the amount of $10,000.00. These funds will be used to support the senior citizen nutrition program, child nutrition program, and first responders in the county. The Chamber of Commerce will begin to transition its focus to include not only procedures and information on preventing COVID-19 spread but also providing additional information to assist businesses as they begin to reopen. The Chamber of Commerce will resume regular business hours on Monday May 4, 2020.
- Chilton County Commission – Chairman of the Chilton County Commission, Joseph Parnell thanked all the participants for coming together each week for the good of the community. The Chilton County Commission held a teleconference meeting on Tuesday. They discussed several issues, including county employees returning to work on Friday, May 1st. County employees have now been deemed essential so that the County government can function properly. The courthouse will not be open to the public yet. The Commission is working with the Sheriff’s Department on procedures for reopening since gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited under the most recent order of the Governor. Officials do not want more than 10 waiting outside the courthouse awaiting their turn to enter. The members of the County Commission will continue to monitor the situation and will reopen the courthouse as soon as it is deemed safe for the public. The County is still working with the Town of Thorsby to remove debris from the recent outbreak of storms. County employees are coordinating with FEMA on a damage assessment.
- The City of Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver reported that the City is operating the same as last week. They are working with the League of Municipalities to address loss of revenue. They have assisted the Town of Thorsby in their storm recovery efforts.
- The Mayor of Jemison, Eddie Reed reported that Jemison City Hall is still operating with the same procedures as last week. He would like guidance from the Commission on procedures to open City Hall, specifically as it relates to the maximum number of people allowed in the building.
- Town of Maplesville clerk Dawn Smitherman reported that they are operating with the same procedures as last week and will remain closed to the public until at least May 15th.
- Mayor of Thorsby, Robert Hight reported that the town is operating with the same procedures as last week and will remain closed to the public until at least May 15th. He thanked the other municipalities and the County for their assistance with storm clean up. There are still large amounts of debris remaining and he estimates a few weeks before clean-up is complete.
- Community advocate Liz Huntley thanked everyone for the information that has been contributed to the Facebook information page. New information on how the public can move forward with reopening will be posted soon. They continue to assist with the child nutrition program.
- Superintendent of Education, Jason Griffin reported that they are still providing meals for students on Mondays. The Board of Education anticipates making an announcement of May 4, 2020 relating to end of the year activities to include graduation.
- As Chilton County Sheriff John Shearon and EMA director Derrick Wright were working to assess damage in the Thorsby community, their report was given by Whitney Barlow. Both departments are operating under the same procedures as last week. There have been a number of break-ins/car thefts in the county over the last week. The Sheriff’s Office is advising citizens to keep automobile doors locked and remove valuables from the interior of the vehicles.
- Clanton Fire Department Chief David Driver reported that there have been no new changes. They are still answering calls for symptomatic citizens, but so far none of their calls have been confirmed positive.
- St. Vincent’s Chilton Administrator Shanon Hamilton reported the hospital is restarting elective procedures effective May 1, 2020. Everyone entering the hospital is being actively screened. They anticipate May to be a busy month due to the backlog of elective surgeries. At this point, patients are still not allowed to have visitors, but care givers may soon be allowed for some patients.
- Dr. Jeff Price reported that routine patient volume has picked up some. They are conducting the antibody testing to determine if specific patients have been previously infected and recovered from the virus without being diagnosed. The majority of insurance companies have been paying for the testing. For those individuals who were sick prior to the pandemic and received a negative flu test and are not currently exhibiting symptoms, it is recommended to have an antibody test conducted.
- Executive Director for the Industrial Development Authority of Chilton County, Whitney Barlow reported that she is working with the Chamber of Commerce on a “Work Smarter” booklet to assist employees and employers returning to work. They are putting together a list of companies that have Personal Protection Equipment and cleaning supplies available for purchase. O-Flex has shut down for deep cleaning (no active cases of COVID-19) and all of their employees are still on payroll. Federal assistance for grants in the CARES Act should be released in mid-May. Barlow is considering hosting another webinar before business are allowed to re-open. The webinar will focus on keeping customers and employees safe.
- Whitney Barlow gave the report from Mike Swinson, SPIRE gas representative. There is money still available for small businesses and residents that are SPIRE customers. The company is contributing to local food banks as well.
- Whitney Barlow gave the report for Chilton County YMCA Director Lori Patterson. The YMCA is preparing 150 sack lunches per day. Childcare for essential employees will be available starting next week. They will be limited to accepting only 33 children. The minimum age for participation in the program is three years of age.
- Chilton County Department of Human Resources Director Marilyn Colson reported that they are still operating under the same procedures as last week. Food Assistance numbers are still increasing rapidly, averaging 17,000 new applications per day. Although not all of these applications will be approved, the processing workload is almost overwhelming.
- Chilton County United Way Director Carol Fortuna reported that they are operating under the same procedures as last week.
- Senior Connection’s Vanessa McKinney reported no changes in current operating practices. She is delivering meals and produce every Wednesday to senior citizens. Bertolone’s has donated meals. They will have a protocol meeting next Wednesday in regard to re-opening. She asked for Shanon Hamilton and anyone else who could assist to help develop a plan.
- Van Forrester, Alabama Power representative reported that they are working under the same procedures as last week.
- Connie Bainbridge, Central Alabama Electric Cooperative representative reported that they are working under the same procedures as last week.
That concluded the meeting and Billy Singleton announced that arrangements and notifications will be sent out regarding the next meeting.
Chilton County COVID-19 Task Force
Allen Caton Chilton County Commission Ann/Tommy Glasscock Small Business Owner
Billy Singleton - (205) 389-0864
Chilton County Chamber - Board President Carol Fortuna United Way Francine Wasden and Rachel Martin Chilton County Chamber - (205) 755-2400 Connie Bainbridge CAEC David Driver Clanton Fire Department Debbie Orange City of Clanton Clerk Derrick Wright Chilton County EMA Greg DeJarnett AL Dept of Education Security Jason Calhoun Probate Judge Jason Griffin BOE Superintenent Jeffrey Price City of Clanton Council Member Jim Byard, Jr. IDACC Jimmie Hardee Chiton County Commission Hamilton, John S. (Shanon) St. Vincent's Hospital Adminstrator Judge Chris Speaks Judge Kevin Corley Pastor Liz Huntley Community - IDACC Lori Patterson YMCA - BOE Marilyn Colson DHR Mary Mell and Bonnie Smith City of Clanton Council Member Mayor Eddie Reed Mayor of Jemison Mayor W.C. Hayes Mayor of Maplesville Mike Swinson SPIRE Robert Hight Mayor of Thorsby Shannon Welch City of Jemison Sheriff John Shearon Sheriff Sylvia Singleton Chilton County Commission Tasha Hayes Nutrition - BOE Van Forrester Alabma Power and IDACC Vanessa McKinney Senior Connection Wes Kelley Pastor - UMCC Mike Elder Clanton /Chilton Propane Chief Maddox City of Clanton Chief of Police Bobby Cook City of Clanton - Council Whitney Barlow IDACC/ Econ. Developer Jason Smith Chilton County Water
You can get real-time updates on the COVID-19 situation by dialing 211.
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