HALEYVILLE - The left side of the City Hall building, where people enter to do business, was locked from general public access for two days, while it was determined that a clerk has tested positive for COVID-19 and two other clerks are also in quarantine but awaiting test results.
The doors to the city hall portion of the building were locked beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday 30 and were continued to be locked through Friday, July 31, after one clerk and her son had a higher grade fever with other clerks running a lower grade fever.
In fact, the clerk who tested positive had a husband who is currently awaiting results after being tested for COVID-19, noted Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri.
After the fevers among the clerks were detected during a daily check on Thursday, July 30, the city hall portion of the building was locked and city hall cleaned and sanitized, the mayor informed.
During the time the doors to the left side were locked, the public was allowed to call ahead at 205-486-3121 and make an appointment, as two clerks continued to work, giving out applications for absentee voting or allowing people to vote absentee in preparation for the Aug. 25 municipal elections.
If a person showed up at the door needing to conduct business, a clerk would allow that person entry.
“If someone came to the door, they allowed them in to make sure they had on masks and hand sanitizer and did all of the proper procedure,” Sunseri pointed out. “It’s never actually been closed. We just tried to limit the amount of people coming into the lobby.”
The police department side of City Hall remained open during this time.
On Monday, doors to the city hall were open to general public access with two clerks working, two clerks out in quarantine awaiting test results and one clerk out in quarantine after testing positive, Mayor Sunseri said.
Employees are tested every morning, the mayor said. One of the clerks and her son was determined last week to have a higher temperature, with other clerks having a lower grade temperature of 99, which is two degree higher than normal, Sunseri added.
One of the clerks contacted Ashley Poole, CEO at Lakeland Community Hospital, to see what needed to be done, and was advised that city hall should be closed until test results come back negative.
“We are just being cautious because if one person has it, it’s going to spread throughout the whole building,” Sunseri added. “So it’s just a matter of caution.”
The Haleyville City Council was scheduled to have their meeting Monday night in the traditional format at the courtroom, the mayor informed.
“The main thing was a matter of precaution and that was the advice we got from the hospital,” Sunseri said. “It was not an arbitrary decision.
“Unfortunately, the number of (COVID-19) cases keep rising, and we’re just at a point now where we’re taking every precaution we can and we encourage everyone to wear masks,” Sunseri pointed out.
“We’re doing everything we can in trying to keep everyone safe,” the mayor pointed out.
“It was just a matter of time that we had somebody get exposed,” Sunseri pointed out. “You can see the numbers go up every day. It’s just a given fact that some people are going to get exposed.
“All we can do is take all the preventive measures we can, but no one can guarantee that someone won’t get exposed,” Sunseri said.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.