Councilors consider allowing Tuscaloosa mayor to use emergency powers due to COVID-19

Tuscaloosa mayor requesting emergency powers due to COVID-19

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Several Tuscaloosa City Councilors are concerned about coronavirus in Tuscaloosa.

But one of them wants to know more about a plan going forward before supporting Mayor Walt Maddox’s effort to declare a state of emergency.

“I think the bigger thing going on right now is the University coming back in about two weeks and I think that’s got a lot of folks somewhat frantic,” according to city councilman Lee Busby.

He believes that’s only thing different regarding COVID-19 in the Tuscaloosa area recently.

He cited previously high numbers of patients with the virus at DCH Regional Medical Center and many Tuscaloosa City employees missed work because they have tested positive themselves or been exposed to people with the illness.

City councilwoman Raevan Howard also believes the start of school plays a role in any decision going forward.

“I feel that as school gets ready to start back across our city, that there might be some things we might need to reiterate such as curfews especially in some communities. So if the Mayor wanted to grant an emergency declaration concerning COVID-19, I’ve already stated I’m in favor of that,” Howard explained.

“I definitely don’t feel like just because someone requests it it should be granted. That’s the reason we have the checks and balances of the council,” Busby said.

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