Local COVID-19 updates/cancellations

• State regulations now prohibit all gatherings of 25 people or more or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons are prohibited in Alabama. This order applies to all events or activities that bring 25 or more persons in a single room or single space at the same time.

• IRS & Alabama Dept of Revenue: The Federal tax filing deadline has been pushed back to July 15. For small businesses, restaurants, and other food service businesses unable to pay their state sales taxes, late payment penalties will be waived for taxes reported on returns filed for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods. Similar relief is being provided for state lodgings taxes due for these same periods. For more information, visit https://revenue.alabama.gov/.

Unemployment Compensation: The Alabama Department of Labor is modifying existing unemployment compensation rules to allow workers to file a claim for unemployment compensation benefits ($275 per week for up to three weeks) if they are affected in the following way by COVID-19:

- Quarantined by a medical professional or governmental agency

- Laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns

- Diagnosed with COVID-19

- Caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19

People who are being paid to work from home or receiving paid sick or vacation leave are not eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Those who expect to be rehired at the same job can file a partial claim. File for benefits online at www.labor.alabama.gov or by calling 1-866-234-5382. Online filing is encouraged.

DeKalb County Revenue Commissioner’s Office: March 23-April 3, the lobby will be closed to the public. Service available by phone or online. All mail fees and credit card fees have been waived during this time. It doesn’t cost you any additional money to utilize these options. The state has waived all late penalties through April 15.

• If you suspect healthcare fraud, please report it to AlabamaBlue.com/fraud or call the Blue Cross Blue Shield fraud hotline at 1-800-824-4391.

• DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office – there will be an increased law enforcement presence in the county during this time. The office, however, will be closed to the public until further notice. If you need a report, contact them at (256) 845-3801. Pistol Permits will only be renewed or issued online, by visiting http://www.dekalbcountysheriff.org and choosing the “Pistol Permit” section from the left side menu. If you are using a mobile device, you must choose the “Full Site” to find this option. In the Detention Center, Corrections Officers have already begun screening inmates upon admittance for symptoms. Recommendations from the Alabama Department of Public Health are being followed. All inmate visitation will be handled remotely at http://www.jailfunds.com until further notice. Call the jail at (256)845-8565 for bond information.

• DeKalb County Board of Education is closed until April 6th. Starting March 23, meals will be provided at a pickup sight in each town near a school between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Children under 18 years of age may receive a meal whether they are DeKalb County students or not. The pickup sites and schedule are posted at https://www.facebook.com/dekalbalabamaschools/.

• Fort Payne City Schools: Schools are closed until April 6th.

Three buses will also bring students meals to eat Monday-Friday (including during Spring Break) to the following Breakfast/Lunch Pick-Up locations:

– 11:00-11:15 a.m.: Fort Payne Walking Park and 13th Street Apartments;

– 11:00-11:30 a.m.: Five Points Bus Stop (bus pull off area on Dogtown Road);

– 11:30-11:45 a.m.: Stewart Court Apartments and Fort Payne Church of Christ;

– 12:00-12:15 p.m.: Mountain Trace apartments;

– 12:00-12:30 p.m.: Green Acres Trailer Park and Fischer Store (formerly the Fisher Rescue Squad);

– 12:45-1:00 p.m.: Fort Payne Family Worship Center at Pine Hills, Cherokee Trailer Park/Deerfield Apartments (changed from Briarwood Apartments) and Hixon Pond Apartments; and

– 1:15-1:30 p.m.: Beason Gap Apartments;

– Additionally, students can pick-up lunch from Fort Payne Middle School, Williams Avenue Elementary School and Wills Valley Elementary School between 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. For full details, visit https://www.fpcsk12.com/.

• All private schools (grades through 12) and preschools and childcare centers with 12 or more children, except for those operated within hospitals, shall be closed. Prior to April 6, a determination will be made about whether to extend these closures.

• DeKalb County Commission - Administrative offices are open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those without urgent business are being encouraged to wait. The regularly scheduled commission meeting on March 24th has been canceled. Meetings in the future will be reviewed as necessary.

• The DeKalb County Courthouse: Until April 16th, the Courthouse will be open on a modified schedule from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. People seeking entrance to the courthouse will be screened by security at the door for symptoms. Admittance will be limited to those with pertinent business at the courthouse, meaning that only those necessary will be admitted and family/friends may be asked to wait outside.

• DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency: The EMA is available 24-7 by calling (256) 845-8569. EMA staff will also be available during the operating hours of the Activities Building of 10-2.

• City of Fort Payne: Fort Payne Mayor Larry Chesser stated that the Recreation Center, Golf Course, and Coal & Iron Building will all remain closed until further notice. Events scheduled during this time will be re-scheduled. The parks in the city will remain open.

Fort Payne Improvement Authority: The lobby is closed, but customers can make payments using the drive thru or night deposit. Customers are encouraged to use FPIA’s automated payment system. All convenience fees for credit cards and e-checks have been removed. Call 844-303-1708 or go to www.fpia.com. Requests for new service will be handled as necessary, and customers should call 256-845-0671 if they need new service or have other questions concerning operations.

• All senior citizen centers are closed. Senior centers and their partners are urged to assure that their clients continue to receive needed meals via curbside pickup or delivery.

• Any restaurant, brewery or bar shall not permit on-site food or drink to be served for at least one week, with certain provisions. Establishments may continue to offer food for take-out or delivery provided the social distancing protocols including maintaining a consistent six-foot distance between persons are followed. Establishments are strongly encouraged to offer online ordering and curbside pickup of food. Hospital food service areas are excluded provided they have their own social distancing plan.

• ABC Stores Statewide: Closed statewide with curbside pickups permitted.

• The DeKalb County Public Library is closed until further notice.

• The DeKalb County Visitor Information Center and all state Welcome Centers we will be closed to the public until April 6th. Contact office@tourdekalb.com if you have an event you are involved with that is changing dates, cancelling or amending, in any way.

• The DeKalb County Democratic Club is canceling all its events and office hours through the end of March in the interests of the health and safety of the people of DeKalb County. This includes Movie Night, Ribbon Cutting, Voter Registration, and Women’s History Month Concert. Plans for April will be announced here and also on the Facebook page, “DeKalb County Alabama Democratic Club.”

• Based on an order entered this evening from the Supreme Court of Alabama, all court hearings and trials with limited exceptions will be suspended until April 16. County officials will provide information soon on those cases within the exceptions that will proceed. This applies to cases in all courts, including circuit, district, juvenile, probate, municipal and appellate.

• Absentee voting is encouraged during the runoff election on July 14 due to the issues surrounding coronavirus. It is important for everyone to understand the only true method of controlling any virus is social distancing and self-isolation. For more information, visit sos.alabama.gov.

• This month’s Third Saturday Sunset Cruise-in has been canceled. The next event is still scheduled for April 18.

• CASA of DeKalb provides food and other services to the elderly all year long. They accept non-perishable food items or monetary donations. They are located at the bottom of Beasons Gap at 2000 Watkins Avenue N.E. Fort Payne. They also have a food bin at the entrance of Bruce’s Foodland in Fort Payne. Food donations can be left there.

• DeKalb County Transportation and Council on Aging: Due to the State of Emergency, Closed for MOST services while DeKalb County Schools are closed. Hoping to restart all programs on April 6, 2020. Read below for more info on what services do not stop.

– No dance groups will meet this week. There will be no Tai Chi or Low Impact Exercise classes this week. We hope that everything will be able to restart the week 4/6/20.

– Prom will be moved to a different month.

– No groups will meet at the Council on Aging or Senior Centers before 4/5/20.

– Our SenioRx Prescription Assistance program will continue to work through the closing to ensure the clients receive their prescriptions. We will not see any clients in person, but will work over the phone with them as needed.

– We are working with another agency to provide food for transportation clients that do not have alternate transportation to grocery stores during our closing.

– Senior Center weekly meal clients will be provided food during the closing. On Tuesday, Managers will notify them and the volunteers that deliver meals of all the details regarding food during the closing.

– Participants of the monthly CSFP Food Boxes will pick their food up at their regular location, date, and time this month. The food will be brought to their car and placed in the trunk. Participants will not get out of their car or sign anything. They can show their ID through their car window.

Please understand that these decisions were made 3/14/20. Things could change.

We would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding as we try to keep all of our participants, volunteers, and staff safe. We would also like to thank all of our staff, volunteers, and partnering agencies for their help during the next few weeks.

• ATTENTION ALL DEKALB COUNTY RESIDENTS: Due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19, all residents are urged to make sure all household and commercial trash are bagged and sealed before it is placed into cans or dumpsters. This should always be done, but it is more important now than ever. Many of our city and county workers do not have the privilege to work from home. Please take this matter very seriously to ensure the safety of these employees.

• City of Henagar: To limit possible exposure to sickness, those who need to pay bills or fines can do so online or make a credit card payment over the phone. Those paying by cash or check should utilize the drop box at City Hall if possible. Residents are also encouraged to call City Hall to see whether any pertinent business can be handled over the phone before coming in.

• Town of Sylvania: The town hall doors are locked to walk-in traffic. We prefer all contact to be made by telephone or internet. Please call 256-638-2604 for any questions.

– Sylvania Police Department: Open but limited to walk-in traffic with business that cannot be conducted by telephone.

– Court: Open but limited to walk-in traffic with business that cannot be conducted by telephone. Payments are still required. A drop box has been install in front of the town hall. Please call Donna Abbott is there are any questions 256-638-2604.

– Fire Hall: Open, but no walk-in traffic.

– Park: Closed to all activities until further notice.

– Sewer payments can be left in the drop box that is now located outside town hall.

Please take all precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19 virus. The Town of Sylvania hopes to be under normal operation shortly.

• The DeKalb County Alabama Animal Adoption Center: Closed to the public starting March 16 until further notice. Pictures of stray animals are posted on the cat room window to the right of the front door. If you are needing to reclaim your animal, please call 256-304-0474 with a complete description of the animal.

• Many local churches have canceled Sunday, Wednesday and other services, along with events and other activities. Since there is not a complete list, check with your individual worship house or check their social media platforms. First Baptist Church in Fort Payne suspended all church gatherings and now offers an online worship service that can be viewed at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Spectrum Cable channel 183 and Farmer’s Telecommunications Channel 7, according to Pastor Marshall Henderson. The service can also be viewed through the church’s website, fbcfp.org and Vimeo.com/fbcfp.

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