Rising number of COVID-19 cases draws concerns from Tuscaloosa business owners

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across Tuscaloosa, some business owners are worried their livelihoods could be hurt if the spread does not slow down.  

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said the city is at a critical point where personal responsibility is more important than ever.

Craig Williams is the owner of the Avenue Pub restaurant. His business recently reopened after being closed down for eight weeks. He fears the city might impose another curfew if COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

“It’s already been detrimental to so many small business owners and employees and to close again would be terrible and that can’t happen,” Williams said.

This week, Maddox said Tuscaloosa has seen a 44% increase in coronavirus cases. He said he is not ready to sign any executive orders to limit where residents can go or do, adding that it wasn’t necessary at this point.

“What we’ve got to do is continue to monitor the number of cases and be ready to take action if that’s necessary,” Maddox said. “Practice social distancing, wear a face mask when you have the opportunity to do it. And just practice common sense and if we do these things we will minimize the number of cases.”

Maddox said the city is keeping an eye on restaurants to make sure they are complying with social distance guidelines. Williams said he is doing things the right way at the Avenue Pub to make sure his workers and customers are safe.

“We’ve removed a lot of tables and my staff is wearing gloves and the mask over your face and nose and mouth,” he said. “It’s important and we have to do our part and we are trying to be a good steward in the community.”

This week, the number of COVID-19 cases at DCH Regional Medical Center rose from 65 patients to 83. Of those hospitalized, 24 are in the ICU and 11 are on a ventilator.


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