Person tests positive for COVID-19 after attending Etowah County Commission meeting

Local News

GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — A person has claimed to have tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a meeting with the Etowah County Commission, which recently held its first meeting since closing its facilities last month.

The Etowah County Courthouse is among many municipal buildings across Alabama that have undergone different procedures in order to prevent a viral outbreak. Prior to opening back to the pubic, staff lined the floor with markers, arrows, and put signs up promoting social distancing.

However, despite their best efforts, someone tested positive for the virus Monday.

 “They shouldn’t be in a meeting with COVID-19 like it is,” resident Jerry Cheaves said.

 “With all the technology and zoom and everything yeah meetings like that can be virtual, but I think everybody’s ready to get back to some kind of normalcy,” resident Scottie Tarvin said.

Etowah County Chief Administrator Shane Ellison said during the meeting that everyone was 6 feet apart and they took all precautionary measures.

“The health department recommended we contact everyone that was in the room,” Ellison said. “The people that I have spoken to have been relatively calm and we’ve appreciated that. Our facilities maintenance staff has done a fantastic job of disinfecting this room as well as the hallways, the bathrooms, and the common areas of the courthouse.”

Everyone in attendance of the meeting received free COVID-19 testing from the health department.

The commission board is currently working out of a quarantined part of the courthouse and only a select group of people in close proximity of the person are being asked to quarantine.

Ellison is encouraging people to be aware that COVID-19 is still a threat and so, the Etowah County Courthouse will continue to enhance its safety measures.

“The person that did test positive has zero symptoms and is doing quite well,” Ellison said. “It proves the point that you can be infected and not know it and infect someone else. They had already been disinfecting door knobs,  handrails, and elevator buttons, but we need to step it up even further and intend to do so.”

The county will be notified later on this week if anyone else tested positive for the virus. Etowah County plans to hold its next commission meeting virtually.


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