Tuscaloosa City Council votes to give Mayor Walt Maddox power to declare state of emergency

New restrictions coming to Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The Tuscaloosa City Council voted Tuesday to give Mayor Walt Maddox emergency powers and to declare a state of emergency amid new concerns over the increase in COVID-19 cases in the city.

Tuesday afternoon several hours before the vote, Maddox listed several recommendations he says could help slow the spread of COVID-19 if necessary:

  • Reduce bar occupancy to 50 percent after 9:00 p.m.
  • Reduce experience/entertainment venue occupancy to 25 percent (during all times)
  • End “bar” service at restaurants at 9:00 p.m. (still order from the table)

The recommendations for Mayor Maddox were not voted on individually Tuesday night. Maddox listed several reasons why a state of emergency is needed in Tuscaloosa:

  • DCH Health System is experiencing higher number of inpatient COVID-19 and deaths are on the rise
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has been activated for 30 days to assist with Alternate Care Site for planning for medical surge issues
  • The ability to move at the speed of COVID-19 crisis
  • Summer was supposed to be a time of reprieve, and the fall is expected to be worse with the beginning of flu season
  • The arrival of 25,000 plus citizens over the next several weeks
  • The demands on workforce over the next several months

These measures didn’t sit too well with one business owner who, like many, has felt economic impacts during the pandemic

”It’s been a tough year not just for myself but for everybody and I feel that more restrictions and guidelines that come down on these businesses could be detrimental,” Craig Williams, the business owner said.

Maddox said he could declare a state of emergency by 5 p.m. Thursday.

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