BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) UPDATE 4:18 P.M. According the Alabama Department of Public Health, there are now 51 confirmed cases in the state of Alabama.
There are now 25 cases in Jefferson County, 8 in Lee County, 4 in Shelby and Elmore counties, 3 cases in Tuscaloosa County, 2 in Montgomery County, and 1 in Baldwin, Calhoun, Limestone, Madison, and St. Clair counties.
2:00 P.M. – Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and other city leaders provide very important updates regarding the COVID-19 outbreak for all residents.
During a press conference, Birmingham City Council President William Parker first spoke about the approval for funding of more than half a million dollars to help combat the coronavirus.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin says the money will provide funding to purchase personal protective equipment for the police, the fire and rescue service and public works. Woodfin says the money will provide funding for the first responders, and Birmingham Public works who keep the facilities clean and the public safe.
BIRMINGHAM FIRE AND RESCUE UPDATE
Birmingham Fire and Rescue Chief Cory Moon provided an update on how the coronavirus is impacting Birmingham Fire Departments throughout the city. According to Moon, Birmingham is still prepared to respond, as they are auditing and ordering more supplies for the COVID-19 response. Moon says BFR is also reevaluating and revising their instant action plans as needed, as well as coordinating with other Fire Departments around the state to make sure that they are all on the same page to make sure to take care of all the citizens and personnel safe. And lastly, they are also making sure that there are enough staff members and equipment in place to ensure that they can respond to the COVID-19 calls.
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE CITY
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, says the COVID-19 outbreak is not just a public health crisis as it comes to their health, but it is also impacting many people financially. The spread of the virus is causing a local economic crisis for the city of Birmingham as it relates to small business owners and hourly workers.
Woodfin says as part if the COVID-19 response, the city has put $1.2 million in the Bham Strong Fund. The fund is designed to provide zero-interest for 180-day loans for small businesses to prevent staff reductions and offset losses related to the coronavirus.
Woodfin says they will take additional steps to launch the program with Birmingham City Council starting next week. But in the meantime, you can learn more about the program by visiting BHAMSTRONG.com.
BIRMINGHAM CITY SCHOOLS UPDATE
Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring reminded everyone that though schools are closed, students are still able to be fed. Herring says since the first day of the closures, BCS has provided grab and go bags for families at every school site. The service is available between the hours of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Herring says starting Thursday, March 19th, the meals will be expanded to include lunch, snacks, and other items. The service will last until March 27th.
Also surrounding the Jefferson County School systems are also lending a helping hand to the Birmingham City Schools when it comes to nourishing families.
So starting Thursday, Birmingham City School families and any of the following districts can start going to any of the other district sites for meals: Jefferson County, Fairfield, Midfield, Bessemer, Tarrant, and Birmingham City Schools. Those feeding sites will also assist anyone 18 and younger when it comes to serving meals. The timeframes may differ depending on the site.
Herring says they want to make sure that during the closure students are still receiving the resources needed therefore, Birmingham City School leaders are continuing to provide resources on the BCS website.
For the latest updates from the Birmingham City Schools visit.
BIRMINGHAM HOUSING AUTHORITY UPDATE
Birmingham Mayor Woodfin says during this time, it is also important to remember those who are vulnerable when it comes to economic losses. Many employees in the city may have been laid off due to the COVID-19 outbreak and could be on the verge of losing their homes. Therefore Mayor Woodfin, City leaders, and the Housing Authority are assuring residents that they will not be evicted. Also, all Birmingham utilities are working with everyone during this hard time.
Michelle Farley of One Roof spoke about how the emergency shelters are working to help the homeless people in the city as well. They are in constant contact with the CDC, the health department and one another.
For the latest updates from the City of Birmingham text, BHMCOVID to 888-777.
For more information from the Jefferson County Department of Public Health visit.
Health officials say that due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus the numbers are expected to go up all over the U.S.
All Birmingham City leaders want to remind everyone to please continue to wash your hands and practice social distancing at all times to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
For the latest on the coronavirus in the state visit the Alabama Department of Public Health website.