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COVID impacting Jemison government, schools

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Three Jemison schools and the Jemison Municipal Complex have put safety measures in place related to COVID-19 concerns.

The rate of required isolations and COVID cases at Jemison Intermediate, Jemison Elementary and Jemison Middle have reached above 10% of the number of people, including students and staff, at the school on a daily basis.

As a result, everyone will now be required to wear masks.

JIS announced the requirement via its Facebook page.

There are five Chilton County Schools under this requirement at this time.

“Individual schools may be subject to a mask mandate if isolation and COVID positive cases reach a level that the Superintendent deems necessary. Chilton County Schools may modify this guidance based on changes to the ADPH and CDC recommendations or as conditions may warrant,” according to the school system’s policy.

Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin said in a previous interview that these decisions are made in communication with the school nurse. Lifting the requirement would be considered when required isolations due to COVID-19 exposure decrease to below 10%, he said.

Requiring everyone to wear masks for the first 30 days of school had been discussed by Board President Pam Price and the lead nurse during the Aug. 17 board meeting. However, there was not a recommendation by Griffin to change the current plan.

Under the current plan, all students are encouraged to wear a mask, but it is not required, expect at Clanton Elementary, Chilton County High School, Jemison Elementary, Jemison Middle and Jemison Intermediate because of the number of exposures to the virus.

The Jemison Municipal Complex lobby is now closed to the public. Similar to when the city closed the lobby at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, business can still be conducted through the drive through. Water bills can also be paid through the drive through Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or online at jemisonalabama.org.

Because of the lobby closure, Jemison Municipal Court has been canceled for Aug. 23 and Sept. 13. The Jemison Police Department made the announcement on its Facebook page.

“Court business will be held by appointment only,” according to the post. “You can contact the Court Clerk/Magistrate at 205-576-6770, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

Chiton County remains listed as high risk for COVID-19 with a 24.4% increase in cases in the last seven days being reported by the Alabama Department of Public Health.