Amid rising COVID-19 numbers throughout the nation, the Foley council approved the authorization for the mayor to declare emergency powers as seen fit. During the 2020 pandemic, Foley staff created a pandemic plan which was approved by the previous council. The plan detailed phases to progress through depending on the situation of the pandemic. By giving the mayor this authorization, he can implement the phases depending on the severity of the COVID-19 resurgence.
“COVID has kind of exponentially exploded this summer, it’s a different animal than it was last year when there was no vaccine,” said Foley Mayor Ralph Hellmich. “We’re going to try to protect our employees as much as possible … We will communicate as any steps are taken, and we’re going to implement some of the minor stages.”
Hellmich said phases of the pandemic plan were already being implemented, such as relocating the council meeting to the Foley Civic Center in order to socially distance attendees, council, and city staff.
Along with the authorization, the council also voted to once more implement 80 hours of COVID sick leave for vaccinated city employees. This sick leave allows vaccinated employees to take time off without utilizing their personal leave time. The council’s original COVID leave plan lapsed earlier in the spring.
“One of the thoughts behind this is it kind of incentivize our employees to get the vaccine that have not. And sometimes if you’re not a long-term employee and get sick you may not have a whole bunch of leave, and we don’t want people that have symptoms to show up at work,” said Hellmich. “So putting this back is kind of an incentive program that we want to utilize.”
Hellmich said Alabama is one of the highest percentage of infection rate in the nation, and that Baldwin County’s percent of infection rate is one of the highest within the state. Many places have begun offering vaccination clinics once more. The Baldwin County Health Department in Robertsdale is now offering all three vaccinations onsite, meaning for the first-time individuals can choose which dose they’d prefer to receive, according to Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby.
“People that are fully vaccinated are contracting COVID, but based on the numbers that we get those numbers are extremely low,” said Darby. “So there is evidence there that vaccinations are still working to some degree, but there are cases where folks fully vaccinated are getting sick … It’s here again, most cases they believe are the new variant, which is highly contagious. The surge is here, and we’re having to deal with it as best we can. Our hospitals are certainly very, very busy.”
To track COVID case numbers in Alabama and Baldwin County, visit arcg.is/0brSGj. From GulfCoastNewsToday.com.
MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey during a visit to the Alabama National Guard mobile vaccination clinic in Wilcox County Friday announced that beginning, April 5, the Alabama Department of Public Health will extend eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations to include individuals age 16 and older. Thanks to Governor Ivey’s announcement, all Alabamians that the vaccine brands are available to can now receive the shot.
“I have committed to the people of Alabama that we are on a path forward, and while there is more work to be done, I remain hopeful and optimistic in where we are going. Recent findings from the CDC show preliminary data suggesting that vaccinated individuals do not appear to be spreading the virus, so that is hopeful, underscores the effectiveness of the vaccine and is yet another reason to get the shot,” Governor Ivey said. “Truly, this vaccine is our ticket back to normal life. We are so close to getting COVID-19 in the rearview, and until then, we should all keep wearing our masks, get vaccinated and use the common sense the good Lord gave us.”
The Pfizer vaccine is available to individuals age 16 and up, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are both available to individuals 18 years of age and older.
With this expansion, there will be close to 4 million eligible individuals in the state of Alabama. Currently, the state receives approximately 115,000 first doses each week.
“In the initial phases of our vaccine allocation plan, we have given just over 1.7 million shots. These shots have gone to more than 1.1 million Alabamians most at risk of illness and death due to COVID-19,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “As progress has been made, equitable vaccine distribution has been and remains a driving force in immunizing state residents. The increased supply of safe and effective vaccines means all adults who wish to be vaccinated are now eligible to receive the protection vaccines offer.”
As of April 1, 1,724,463 doses have been administered.
For general information about COVID 19, the COVID-19 Information Hotline number is 1-800-270-7268. Alabama vaccine providers can be found within the Alabama COVID-19 Dashboard Hub.
3/4/2021-This morning, Governor Kay Ivey extended the requirement for Alabamians to wear a mask or facial covering when in public, as well as the Safer at Home Order.
The updated State of Emergency can be found below:
Twenty-third Supplemental State of Emergency
1/21/2021-Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday issued her twenty-second supplemental emergency proclamation extending the Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This order extends until Friday, March 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
12/9/2020-Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday issued her twentieth supplemental emergency proclamation extending the Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This order extends until Friday, January 22, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
11/5/2020-Today, Gov. Ivey extended the current “Safer at Home” order, which includes the mask mandate, through Friday, December 11 (when new guidelines will be announced).
The state has also lifted occupancy limitations for retailers, gyms and fitness centers as well as entertainment venues, restaurants and close-contact businesses like hair and nail salons. However, for restaurants, gyms/fitness centers, and close-contact businesses, in order to allow for normal capacity, customers must wear masks and be separated by impermeable partitions or barriers like plexiglass.
The statewide order can be viewed in its entirety here.
The statewide order can be viewed in its entirety here.
7/15/2020—Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday issued her fifteenth supplemental emergency proclamation containing an amended Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This amended order extends until August 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
7/15/2020—Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday issued her fourteenth supplemental emergency proclamation containing an amended Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This amended order extends until July 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
6/30/2020—Gov. Kay Ivey has issued an amended Safer at Home Order to be applied statewide. The current order, which took effect on May 22, was previously set to expire on Friday, July 3, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. but has been extended to expire on July 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
5/21/2020—Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday issued an amended Safer at Home Order to be applied Statewide. The order which includes an expanded list of items to reopen will be effective Friday, May 22, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. and will expire on Friday, July 3, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. These update affect entertainment venues, athletic activities, educational institutions, child day care facilities and summer camps.
5/8/2020—Governor Kay Ivey on Friday issued an amended Safer at Home Order to be applied Statewide. The order which includes an expanded list of items to reopen will be effective Monday, May 11, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. and will expire on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
Today Foley Mayor John Koniar announced plans for reopening a number of city offices on Monday, May 4, in conjunction with the state’s new “Safer at Home” order. This gradual easing of restrictions comes about six weeks after shutdowns began on March 16, 2020, due to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
A gradual reopening of city offices is planned, beginning with the following offices on Monday, May 4: Foley’s Municipal Court, lobbies at Community Development, Engineering, the Justice Center, all Fire Stations and Public Works. City curbside recycling will also resume. The lobby at Foley’s city hall as well as permitting offices have remained open during this time.
For now, the following city buildings will remain closed: Foley’s Public Library, Senior Center, Civic Center, Event Center, the Railroad Museum and the Model Train Exhibit, the Holmes Medical Museum, restrooms in city parks, basketball courts and the city event train. The Foley Kids Park remains closed, and use of playground equipment in all city parks is still discouraged. These will be reassessed for potential reopening on May 18.
The mayor thanks residents for their cooperation during these unprecedented times, and requests continued adherence to state and national guidelines designed to keep families safe. The “Safer at Home” order encourages individuals to stay home and follow good sanitation practices. Gatherings of ten persons or more are still prohibited and people are asked to maintain six feet of separation.
Additional updates will be posted on the city website at www.ctfoley.diffrntdigital.com, the City of Foley Municipal Facebook page, and announced on WHEP 1310 Radio Baldwin and included in The Onlooker.
4/28/2020—Governor Kay Ivey issued a Safer at Home order to be applied Statewide. The order will be effective Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. and will expire on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
In this new order, retail businesses will be allowed to reopen with only 50% occupancy. Anyone who leaves their home is encouraged to wear a face covering, such as a mask in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Also, Alabama beaches will be allowed to open with social distancing still in place.
Work gatherings are still to adhere to the rule of 10 people or less in one area. Gov. Ivey urged employers to make sure that all workplaces are sanitized and clean on a regular a basis.
Also, schools will remain closed. Restaurants, bars breweries are still limited to takeout, curbside delivery. Gyms, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, and theaters are to remain closed.
Please see this info sheet for guidelines.
To see the complete Safer at Home order visit.
4/10/2020—Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday announced the launch of a COVID-19 search engine tool that enhances the state’s official resource site, altogetheralabama.org. Through a public-private partnership between Yext and the state of Alabama, this innovative platform will provide real-time answers to questions about everything from the virus itself, through a symptom checker that was developed at UAB, to upcoming COVID-19 testing site locations.
This service is free of charge and can be accessed either through altogetheralabama.org or directly at covid19.alabama.gov.
4/3/2020—Governor Kay Ivey on Friday issued a Stay at Home order to be applied statewide. The order will be effective beginning Saturday, April 4, at 5:00 p.m. and will expire Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Read the full order here.
3/31/2020—Foley is operating with essential-only activities as of Tuesday, March 31, following Gov. Ivey’s guidelines issued on March 28 that non-essential activities and businesses be closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read full press release here.
3/30/2020—In order to better align with Gov. Ivey’s guidelines to protect the health and welfare of the public, Mayor John Koniar has declared that city departments will move to essential-only activities on Tuesday, March 31. Read full press release here.
3/30/2020—Alabama governor Kay Ivey has released a video message to Alabamians across the state. Ivey asks people to take social distancing seriously and to stay at home as much as possible. See the video here.
3/27/2020—Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has announced all nonessential businesses statewide are to be closed starting Saturday at 5 p.m.
The closure is scheduled for March 28 through April 17. For the full statement and list of businesses, click here.
3/26/2020—Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has ordered the schools in the state to remain closed through the end of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students will continue to learn at home using “alternate methods of instruction” starting on April 6.
State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey said the state is working with local school systems to address the lack of internet access in some homes.
3/26/2020—Baldwin County has implemented a new notification and alert system called AlertBaldwin by Everbridge.
To join and receive information and alerts related to COVID-19 and other emergency situations in Baldwin County, text “AlertBaldwin” and “BaldwinCovid” (NO SPACE between the words of each keyword) to 888777.
3/26/2020—The 2020 Census is underway and households across America are responding every day. In light of
the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted 2020 Census operations in order to:
• Protect the health and safety of Census Bureau employees and the American public.
• Implement guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities.
• Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.
The table below summarizes the adjustments to operations. Should any additional adjustment
become necessary, the Census Bureau will promptly publish the change in an updated document.
3/25/2020—The Alabama Department of Public Health released an update Wednesday morning with new COVID-19 cases reported in Mobile County. There are now 283 cases in the state. Baldwin county has four. For the full list of counties, click here.
3/23/2020—Gov. Kay Ivey issues third supplemental state of emergency on Monday, March 23, 2020. The proclamation can be found here.
3/19/2020—The Alabama Department of Public Health has released new orders statewide through April 5.
- All gatherings of 25 persons or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons, are prohibited. This Order shall apply to all gatherings, events or activities that bring 25 or more persons in a single room or single space at the same time.
- Any restaurant, bar, brewery or similar establishments shall not permit on-premise consumption of food or drink. Governor Ivey continues to encourage patrons to visit their local eateries for take-out or delivery provided the social distancing protocols include maintaining a consistent six-foot distance between persons are followed.
- All beaches will be closed effective today at 5:00 p.m. For clarification, the term “beach” means the sandy shoreline area abutting the Gulf of Mexico, whether privately or publicly owned, including beach access points.
- Preschools and childcare centers will be closed effective at close of school or business today. This shall not apply to licensed childcare centers that provide services exclusively to employees with: State and Local Governments, First Responders (including EMS and Fire Services), Law Enforcement, Hospitals, Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities), End Stage Renal Disease Treatment Centers, Pharmacies and grocery stores.
- Effective immediately, all Hospitals and Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities) shall prohibit visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations such as maternity and end-of-life.
- All elective dental and medical procedures shall be delayed, effective immediately.
3/19/2020—Baldwin County officials have been adapting emergency procedures more commonly used for hurricanes to prepare for a pandemic response expected to last weeks if not months.
The County Commission voted to close many Baldwin facilities to the public, although employees remain at work and services are still available through online services, by telephone or the mail.
Here is a list of all Baldwin County facilities and services that are currently closed.
3/19/2020—Effective Friday at 7 a.m., the City of Gulf Shores will close all of its public beach access points for two weeks until April 5th
3/16/2020—Because the disease spreads through social contact, as of Monday, March 16, the Graham Creek Nature Preserve Interpretive Center will be closed until further notice, and recreational youth sports leagues and boards created by the city council will not meet until further notice. The Foley Kids Park will be closed. Other city parks will remain open. Please practice social distancing when visiting the parks.
Many widely-held events scheduled between now and April 15 have been canceled or postponed, following guidelines that gatherings of over 50 people are prohibited. This includes the Census 2020 event, Forward City Con and the early April Historic Foley Walking Tours. Events planned after April 15 will be reviewed at a later date. Anyone with a scheduled event at a city facility is asked to please contact the city meeting facility directly.
3/16/2020—The Alabama Department of Public Health have released new recommendations involving public gatherings. State leaders are now recommending mass gatherings should not exceed more than 10 people or more. This includes sporting events, parades, retail storefronts, or restaurants. Seniors and those with chronic health issues should avoid travel by air, train, or bus.
3/13/2020—The city of Foley is closely monitoring the evolution of coronavirus by working with local, state and federal authorities. Currently, there are no restrictions on travel anywhere in the domestic United States including the State of Alabama.
In accordance with CDC recommendations, we are encouraging everyone to stay home when sick, avoid close contact with people who are sick, wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Look for hand sanitizer located conveniently in all of Foley’s public buildings. Everyone is encouraged to use sanitizer or wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs.
For the latest news and information regarding coronavirus please refer to the resources below.