TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The City of Tuscaloosa is taking steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The virus is surging at three DCH hospitals with 138 COVID patients so Mayor Walt Maddox is closing city government buildings to protect employees and residents.

“We face our greatest workforce challenge at the city since COVID-19,” Maddox said. “With the number of employees that have coronavirus or have been isolated its really starting to take a toll on our ability to deliver essential functions of the city.”

In an effort to protect the local healthcare system and maintain essential City functions among rising COVID-19 community spread, access to city buildings and events has been limited. 

“It is up to us to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” Maddox said. “Use common sense and I know we are all tired of this I am, I miss seeing my parents who are in their 70s.  I miss my daughter who is a UA student.  I know these sacrifices will save my family and keep them safe and will help keep the community safe.”

City Hall will be closed to the public effective 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7 until Jan. 4, 2021. Any necessary transactions can be conducted online, over the phone, through the mail, or through an on-site drop box located in the City Hall drive-through. Mayor Maddox says he has no plans for any shutdowns or bar and restaurant closures.

“We are not doing a shut down, but there’s going to be months to get through this,” Maddox said. “So we’ve got to buckle in and do our part and be smart and we’ll get through this.”

City buildings will re-open to the public on January 4th.

Tuscaloosa Municipal Court will be closed to the public effective Monday, Dec. 14th. Holidays on the River will remain postponed until Dec. 17th. Water and sewer bills can be paid online at Tuscaloosa.com/pay-water-bill, by phone at 205-248-5500, through the drop box located in the City Hall drive-through, or by mail.

City buildings will re-open to the public on January 4th.