Saraland mayor urging residents to get vaccinated, follow CDC guidelines

Mobile County

SARALAND, Ala. (WKRG) — After sharing his experience with COVID-19, Saraland Mayor Howard Rubenstein is urging residents to follow CDC guidelines and get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can.

I would like to thank everyone for all your thoughts and prayers during my recovery from Covid-19.  I am very blessed to have fully recovered from my bout with the virus.  I am praying that all of our families and friends that are currently ill will heal quickly and completely. It has been some time since I last reported Saraland Covid-19 statistics.  This has been largely due to difficulty obtaining accurate community-specific data.  I would like to thank Drs. Bert Eichold and Rendi Murphree with the Mobile County Health Department for gathering the information that I am sharing.  As you can see, Saraland has had a significant amount of our residents testing positive for Covid-19.  This data does not reflect multiple positive tests but rather is patient specific.  Our numbers are similar to those of Mobile County as a whole when considered by population.I am again asking that all of our residents show consideration for their neighbors by following the current guidelines for best practices to prevent the virus.  Mask usage, social distancing, appropriate sanitation and hygiene are strongly recommended to lower risk of contracting Covid-19.  In addition, avoiding or minimizing close social interaction with other families helps prevent virus spread.  Local hospital ICU’s are currently overloaded with patients due to the pandemic and this will worsen if the virus is not controlled.I have had many questions regarding the new vaccines available for Covid-19.  I will be taking the vaccine as will my family.  No one can guarantee that the vaccine has no risk of side effects.  However, after experiencing a significant case of Covid-19, I would strongly recommend the vaccine as opposed to the risk of severe illness or even death that the virus can bring.  Currently two types of vaccine are being used in the United States.  A third is expected to be approved shortly.  Experts are recommending that people take whichever vaccine is first available to them.  Currently vaccination is being limited to specific groups including healthcare workers.  The vaccine will shortly be made available to other groups with first responders and people over 75 next slated to be offered vaccination.  We will be sharing vaccination updates and local locations for vaccination as we receive further information.  It will be necessary to achieve 70-80% vaccination of the population to effectively thwart the virus.  The choice to vaccinate for Covid-19 is a personal decision, but I hope that all of our residents will consider this as our best hope to eradicate the virus and return to the normalcy we all desire.Following current state mandates and guidelines, our senior center, splashpad and youth recreation center remain closed.  We are continuing our meals-on-wheels program with both homebound delivery and curbside pickup services remaining busy.  Senior transport service to physician appointments also remains available.  Our civic center is now open on a limited basis for rentals subject to additional rules and restrictions.Please note that like many businesses, the City of Saraland has been working with reduced personnel due to requirements for home quarantine for those infected or exposed to Covid-19.  Our city council and I are working together to continue to provide city services under these conditions while maintaining a safe environment for our employees and residents.  If we can be of service, please do not hesitate to call city hall at 251-675-5103, or for emergencies, 911.  Our city staff will do their best to provide information and help requested.  Thank you for your kindness and God Bless.

Dr. Howard Rubenstein, Mayor, City of Saraland

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