Shelby County Commission declares state of emergency during pandemic

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Commission at its meeting on Monday, March 23, approved a resolution declaring a state of emergency in the county due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The declaration follows similar measures taken at the federal and state level, and states of emergency declared in many municipalities.

“The existing and increasing possibility of the occurrence of COVID-19 (coronavirus) will be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the county and will require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to alleviate the adverse effects to the health, safety and economy of the county,” the declaration read.

The declaration came at the request of the director of the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency.

The declaration warrants activation of the Shelby County Emergency Operations Plan, and the appropriate county agencies are directed to exercise their statutory authority to assist the communities and entities affected.

Commissioner Ward Williams commended the work of new County Manager Chad Scroggins during a challenging time.

“We have a tremendous staff from top to bottom,” Scroggins said. “Everybody is doing their part to make everything work.”

Scroggins said the county’s three license offices are closing as a result of the pandemic, and Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego said his department is taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus, including checking the temperature of all employees at the start of each day, along with new inmates coming into the jail.

“We’re still delivering services 24/7,” Samaniego said. “Nothing really has stopped us from doing that.”