COVID-19 Information


Reopen Phase 2: City Hall Open to the Public As of May 11

City Hall will reopen to the public Monday, May 11, 2020. We will have a variety of new procedures and policies in place to ensure the safety of the public and city employees.

Visitors to the second, third, and fourth floors will sign in at floor/department-specific sheets at the security station on the first floor. The glass windows and reception areas on each floor will be used whenever possible, and taped floor spots spaced 6 feet apart and other barriers will be placed in the customer waiting areas to ensure social distancing.

Each floor will be limited in visitor capacity. Residents are asked to use telephone or online services whenever possible. 

Many other offices will require appointments for entry. Appointments with the City Council will be required and scheduled through the Clerk’s office. A directory and list of telephone numbers for departments will be available on the first floor to arrange appointments. 

 Face coverings are recommended. Hand sanitizer should be used. Everyone should practice social distancing.


Reopen Phase 2: Some City of Gadsden Facilities to Reopen May 1st

As the City of Gadsden carefully watches the COVID-19 Pandemic and follows the orders from Governor Ivey and the Alabama Public Health Department we are taking steps to safely open some city facilities in a limited way. We are also rescheduling some events that were postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Our first phase of reopening facilities will begin Friday, May 1st. In order to keep staff and customers safe, these facilities will use the retail reopening framework established by the State of Alabama. On May 1st, the Coosa Landing Store will open with customer limits, restricted hours, and limited restroom access. All tournaments scheduled for Coosa Landing will operate under strict social distancing and group gathering restrictions. Noccalula Falls Campground will also open May 1st, with strict social distancing, limited hours for the Campground Office, pool area closed, and campsite rentals will be spaced to ensure adequate distancing between sites. Noccalula Falls Park will reopen May 6th. The train will not run and the petting zoo area will be closed. The gift shop will be open with limited hours and access. The Local Farmers Market at the 5th Street Market will open May 8th to curbside, drive-through, and online sales. 

Twin Bridges Golf Course will reopen to the public on May 1st. The clubhouse and grill be closed to the public and golfers limited to one per cart and other social distancing restrictions will be enforced by the staff.

Many events that have been postponed are now rescheduled. 

Art on the Rocks at the Falls: September 19 & 20

Bassmaster Opens Series: October 22-24

Barbarian Challenge: August 22nd

Coosa Landing Super Bass Tournament: June 20th.

FLW Fishing Tournament: September 2-4

Smoke on the Falls Barbecue Festival: September 19

Parks and Recreation staff is still working on rescheduling the Youth Fishing Rodeo and Wheels on the Hill Car Show. The Summer Food Service Program is still planned to open this summer. The Summer Concert Series is still under review.


City Hall, Municipal Court, Library Branches, Museum, and all other City Facilities not listed in our first phase of reopening will continue to be closed to the public. Further announcements and policy changes will be announced when appropriate to ensure the safety of the public and staff.


City Council meeting and work session April 21, 2020

April 19, 2020

The Gadsden City Council will conduct a work session at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, by teleconference.

 The regular City Council meeting will be conducted at 11:00 a.m., by teleconference.

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KBAHDFjyT_Kmk3_z4Jj6yQ 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The meeting will be on Facebook Live, Recorded and replayed on City of Gadsden TV and posted to the City of Gadsden's Youtube Channel

Mayor Guyton’s Update on Local Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

April 17, 2020

Today marks a month since I joined with leaders across our county to officially proclaim a Public Health Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, we have been taking every appropriate action to face this unprecedented and dangerous situation. Today, a month in, I am again asking you to not let up, to stay in the fight and to continue observing all of the current Public Health Orders and recommendations.

As of today, we have 87 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our county and 8 reported deaths. By continuing to stay home except for essential trips, practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and washing our hands we can continue to flatten the curve and save lives. I do see some people continue to ignore the guidance to wear masks in public and to keep an appropriate distance from others, and I ask you to take these measures seriously to protect our entire community. 

I want to thank all of those who are on the front lines of this crisis. From those working in grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, public safety, garbage collection, and so many more essential jobs, to those staying at home, I want you to know that your hard work and commitment does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. 

While we are making progress, some models and information about the pandemic suggest that the worst may be ahead for our state and city, so I want to reaffirm to all of our residents that we are continuing to do everything we can to fight this pandemic. We are in constant contact with Public Health Officials to make sure that we are getting up to date information and make decisions to best protect everyone in our community. This crisis continues to change and develop, and our response will continue to evolve with the crisis. 

We are in this fight as a community, and as long we continue to work together and respond with compassion we will emerge stronger than ever. 

-Mayor Sherman Guyton

Gadsden City Council Meeting Teleconference & Summary

April 13, 2020

The Gadsden City Council by videoconference on Tuesday, April 14 , 2020. at 11 a.m.

The meeting will be on Facebook Live, Recorded and replayed on City of Gadsden TV and posted to the City of Gadsden’s Youtube Channel

UPDATE: The summary mandated by the Governor’s Order for the teleconference meeting is available on our website: Summary.Teleconference Council Meeting.4-14-20

View the meeting here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl-E-lRt9aM

Filing Claims Information

April 13, 2020

Since City Hall is closed to the public, persons needing to file a claim will not be able to come to City Hall to get the claim form.  Please call the City Clerk’s office at 256-549-4517 for assistance in filing a claim.

CDC: Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

Review more CDC information including instructions to make masks. : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html?fbclid=IwAR3-4JaTxpE_CC9twfWdfR6Y4HHy_FmTH17roTKaCK9We_CI_PdgrV3touI

Mayor Guyton’s Statement on Local Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

April 3, 2020

Gadsden, AL - As we continue to respond to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic I wanted to update you on the City of Gadsden’s response and emphasize the importance of continued action for everyone in our community. Everyone must follow the State Public Health order from the Governor and The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 30 Days to Slow the Spread. The time to act is now. 

While I understand the difficulty of following these orders and guidelines, we must trust the guidance of public health experts. Only by taking these measures seriously can we slow the spread of this terrible virus. I know many residents in our community have taken these measures seriously, and I offer you my heartfelt thanks. The public health experts we rely on, say that only by following the social distancing guideline, staying home except for essential trips, and following the hand-washing guidance we can slow the spread of this dangerous disease and save lives. While many residents have been part of the team helping out the community, others have flaunted those orders and guidelines. Yet again, I am urging those people to get on board and help fight this invisible yet deadly COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen what gatherings in other countries, states and even other counties in Alabama have caused. Simply put, these gatherings mean that there are more cases of COVID-19 and more people die.

As we respond to these rapidly changing circumstances we all must continue to work together as a community. City of Gadsden staff are continuing to model this behavior at City Facilities while we carry on essential business and government. While we should not act in fear, we should recognize that our actions can have serious effects on others around us. Be safe, be healthy, use common sense, and we will continue to respond to this challenge with a spirit of compassion and teamwork; we will win this battle and emerge better and stronger together.

-Mayor Sherman Guyton


Etowah County Covid-19 Drive Through Testing

Monday, March 30, 2020

(Must have a provider referral or Prescription in hand)

WHEN: April, 1, 2020 10:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m. While testing supplies last

WHERE: 12th Street Baptist Church 800 West Grand Avenue (AL Hwy 77) Rainbow City, AL 35906

MUST MEET THIS CRITERIA

The patient is symptomatic with at minimum (measured or subjective)

· Fever OR cough OR shortness of breath

· The patient is immunocompromised or has co-morbidities

· The patient age is 65 yrs. or older

· The patient is a healthcare worker

· The patient is associated with a long-term healthcare facility.

Friday, March 27, 2020

As the wave of confirmed COVID-19 cases hits our State and County the City of Gadsden continues to work with local, state, and national partners to take decisive action to save lives. We are facing unprecedented circumstances, and we are taking unprecedented measures to protect our community. 

Today, Governor Kay Ivey issued yet another Public Health Order with strong language urging all Alabamians to stay vigilant and to take precautions to avoid exposure and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current public health order now closes entertainment venues, athletic facilities, close-contact services, and retail stores. Local law enforcement will continue to enforce the current public health order from the State. Essential businesses are still permitted to remain open in compliance with all public health orders and guidelines. 


"While I know that strictly following these orders from state and local public health officials will be difficult, together we will get through this crisis. I strongly urge all citizens of Gadsden to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously and to stay home. Essential business will still go on, but we need the public to follow these orders because this is a matter of life and death. Only by staying home can we prevent the spread of this virus, and keep everyone safe," said Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton. 


All of our local officials and leaders are thankful to those on the front lines of keeping us safe from this and other threats. We thank those in the community sacrificing to protect those most at risk to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we’ve noted before, this is a rapidly changing situation, and our response will adapt to changing conditions. As a City and County, we will work in unity with a spirit of compassion and teamwork; we will win this battle and emerge better and stronger together.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Gadsden City Council is meeting as scheduled tomorrow Tuesday, March 24, 2020, with precautions and limitations to comply with the current public health order and recommendations in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

The 10 a.m. pre-Council work session and 11 a.m. City Council public meetings will be held on the first floor City Council Chambers. These meetings will be streamed on Facebook Live, and the City Council meeting will also be broadcast on City of Gadsden TV and uploaded to the YouTube channel.

The Council Chambers will be limited to 24 people total, with assigned seats that have been measured to be at least six feet apart. Members of local media organizations and participants in the scheduled public hearing will be given seating preference. The public may attend this meeting but is discouraged from attending in person due to the ongoing public health concerns. The Council Chambers and associated areas will be sanitized before and after the meeting. 

A teleconference has been established to allow council members to receive additional details and explanations from staff who attend the meeting during regular circumstances. 

Those with further questions or concerns can call the City Clerk's Office at 256-549-4517 or Public Affairs Office at 256-549-4590.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Gadsden, AL - The City of Gadsden is carefully monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In response to both the President's guidance to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and the Governor's declaration of a State of Emergency, the City of Gadsden is closing buildings to the public, except for the first floor of Gadsden City Hall. 

We recognize that this situation is currently evolving and we will carefully monitor and modify our plans to address this changing situation to keep the public and our staff safe. Specific closures and plans for specialized public services will be updated.

"The health and safety of our citizens and staff are our first priority. We currently have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 here, but we expect that will change. Limiting and slowing the spread of this virus, through social distancing, good hygiene practices like handwashing, avoiding public gathering is important. We want to minimize the impact on our citizens, when possible. The city government and essential services, like public safety, garbage collection, and infrastructure maintenance will not stop" said Mayor Sherman Guyton. "We are taking every appropriate action, and planning for all contingencies but we need citizens to remain calm and use good judgment so that we can work through this situation as a community.”

The City of Gadsden is maintaining operations of important government services but taking deliberate and decisive action to slow and prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Local emergency managers and government leaders are using science-based, fact-based recommendations in close coordination with Federal, State, and Local Public Health subject matter experts. 

This is a rapidly changing situation, and our response will adapt to changing conditions. As a City and County, we will work in unity with a spirit of teamwork. By working together and following guidelines from public health experts, we will win this battle

Below is a list of city departments and agencies that are updating their policies, departments and procedures in light of the changing situation. This list in non-exhaustive and subject to change as conditions develop. 

City Government

City Hall will be closed to the public, except for the first floor for Revenue and Garbage Collection windows (using proper protective practices and equipment). While closed to the public all city departments are remaining active and can be contacted via email, phone or website. First responders including Gadsden Police, EMS, Gadsden Fire, and Gadsden Etowah Emergency Management Agency are continuing to respond to any and all calls for service. Garbage and trash service is continuing on schedule.

City offices remain open, although access to most offices will be limited. The City is making efforts to limit contact and reduce large group meetings. The City is working closely with the GECEMA to minimize risk to citizens. Residents are encouraged to access City services online via the City’s website at www.cityofgadsden.com. 

Public Safety Gadsden Police & Fire Department

CONTACT NON EMERGENCY: 256-549-4500

The City of Gadsden Police Department and Gadsden Fire Department remains fully active and responding to any and all calls for service. GPD is urging citizens to use caution and not gather in large groups in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Citizens in need of transport or treatment for non-life threatening conditions (for example, fever or cough) should use personal vehicles or private ambulance services. For any life-threatening situations, please call 9-1-1. The non-emergency number is 256-549-4500

It is imperative that we keep our paramedics in service by minimizing unnecessary contact, so they may be available to respond to life-threatening situations. Please answer Dispatcher questions truthfully, so that they can take necessary precautions. 

If you have an emergency, please call 9-1-1. You can reach the Fire Department non-emergency operator at (256) 549-4566.

Public Works

CONTACT: 256-549-4704

The Recycling Center will be closed to the general public until further notice.

Commercial pickup by our employees where trailers are now will continue.

The C&D landfill and Transfer station will be closed to the general public.

Commercial carriers and contractors will be allowed to continue to dump.

All other services provided by Public Works. will continue where possible.

Building Department 

CONTACT: 256-549-4529

Building Permits are still being issued (including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, Gas): Contact Karen Dixon kdixon@cityofgadsden.com, 256-549-4529 or Beth Kerzic bakerzic@cityofgadsden.com, 256-549-4764

Rental Permits are still being issued (including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, Gas): Contact Karen Dixon kdixon@cityofgadsden.com, 256-549-4529 or Beth Kerzic bakerzic@cityofgadsden.com, 256-549-4764 

Engineering Department

CONTACT: 256-549-4520.

The Engineering Department is functioning as normal. Designs on future projects are progressing, existing construction projects are on-going, and calls/emails are being received and reviewed as normal pertaining to stormwater and roadway problems. 

Engineering Department and/or Planning Department contact #: 256-549-4520.

Planning Department

CONTACT: 256-549-4520.

The Planning Department will continue to provide services during this limited access period. Requests for plan submittal review, zoning, and certificate of appropriateness will be processed. Applications for zoning and certificate of appropriateness are available on the city website (Planning page). Although much of our interaction is in person, we will make every effort to accommodate as much as possible via telephone or e-mail.  

Questions may be directed to 256-549-4520 – zoning/plan review: tcody@cityofgadsden.com certificate of appropriateness: nhall@cityofgadsden.com

Community Development

CONTACT: 256-549-4532

During this limited access period, all housing repair applications will be done over the telephone.  No home visits or repairs will be performed at this time. Public service agencies that receive CDBG funds should continue to submit monthly reports and reimbursement requests through email. All other functions of the department will continue to operate as normal. 

Although much of our interaction is in person, we will make every effort to accommodate our citizens, as much as possible, via telephone or email. If you do not have email access or need to leave paperwork, it should be left on  the first floor of City Hall in the Community Development Drop Box.

For housing repair applications or questions regarding the housing repair program call 256-549-4532 or email cbush@cityofgadsden.com or dheflin@cityofgadsden.com.  Public service agencies may call 256-549-4532 or email cbush@cityofgadsden.com or rbaker@cityofgadsden.com. For general questions or information call 256-549-4532.

Downtown Gadsden Inc.

CONTACT: 256.547.8696

At the current time, the DGI office is open for business. We have canceled April's First Friday and have rescheduled the entertainment for later months. We will make a determination for May First Friday as we get through April and see how things are progressing.


Parks and Recreation

CONTACT: 256-549-4680

All Parks and Recreation Facilities are Closed, this includes but is not limited to:

Carver, East Gadsden, Elliott, Mitchell, Raymond Hill, Thompson, Walnut Park, and Banks Park Community Centers.

Downtown Civic Center.

Noccalula Falls Park and Campground. This includes Mini Golf and both playgrounds.

Moragne Park.

Coosa Landing Bait Shop and restrooms.

Gadsden Sports Complex. This includes Jack Gaston Coliseum, Tennis Complex, Weeks Field, and baseball/softball fields.

Elliott and Carver Senior Nutrition programs still will be open only to participants that meet and are approved through the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission for delivery and drive-thru meal pick up.

Forrest Cemetery will be limited to close-outs only. This means that no graveside services will be allowed at the cemetery.

Passive parks and trails will remain open to the public but only for casual use with no group activities allowed. All individuals and parents should be made aware that all playground and outdoor courts have surfaces that cannot be sufficiently disinfected. Please use with caution. 

Postponed

Therapeutic Bowling Tournament - TBA

Therapeutic Programs- TBA

Special Olympics Track and Field - TBA

Adult Flag Football Tournament – June 28, 2020

Youth Baseball League – April 13, 2020

Baseball/Softball Tournaments- TBA

Youth Soccer League – March 29, 2020

Coosa Landing Super Bass Tournament

Smoke on the Falls – September 19, 2020

 

Canceled

Spring Break Camp

Spring Break Kid’s Preparedness Day

Spring Fling Event

Black Creek Archery Tournament

This is not the time for people to be gathering. All closings are to help assist the President’s guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important for everyone to get exercise and fresh air. Please if out in public follow all social distancing guidelines and CDC guidelines.

 

Public events

 All public events have been canceled or postponed at this time. However, we understand that some citizens may want to congregate in small groups. In those cases, the City of Gadsden encourages social distancing. Large gatherings not only put the community at risk for spreading COVID-19, they also put city staff at greater risk at a time when they are needed most.

Courts

All in-person judicial proceedings and appearances in Alabama are suspended through April 30, according to an order by the Alabama State Supreme Court.

The order applies to in-person proceedings in all state and local courts in Alabama: Circuit, district, juvenile, municipal probate, and appellate courts.

Schools

The City remains in communication and coordination with the Gadsden City School System, private schools and local higher education institutions.

Each school will be communicating directly with families on the steps and resources that will be provided to support ongoing student learning.

City Council District Meetings

All community and district meetings held by City Council members have been canceled. 

Boards and commissions

The Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment meetings in March have been canceled.

Guidelines for these Meetings will remain under review and may be subject to change in the coming days. 


Twin Bridges

Twin Bridges will be closed until further notice starting Wednesday, March 18 as part of the effort to control the spread of the Coronavirus. We will post further updates to our Facebook page and send updates via email to annual members and Senior/Player cardholders.

 

Gadsden Public Library Main and Branches 

•All locations of the Gadsden Public Library remain closed to the public.

• Our projected reopening date is May 4, 2020.

• Library books will not be overdue until May 11, 2020.

• Please check our Website/Facebook pages for information about online resources.

Please feel free to email or call with any questions or concerns at: gpl@gadsdenlibrary.org / 256-549-4699.


Gadsden Transit Services

CONTACT: 256-549-451

 Gadsden Transportation Department will suspend the Fixed Route Trolley Services & limit the DART Services to medical-related trips only, beginning Wednesday, March 18th until further notice. We will give sufficient notice & updates on returning to normal operations as they become available. 

Museums

The Gadsden Museum of Art will be closed to the public, and all programming suspended until further notice. . The schedule will be reassessed at that time.


The Gadsden/Etowah County Emergency Management Agency

The City is in active contact with administrators for the Etowah County Emergency Management Agency. For additional information from the EMA, please go to gecema.com.

211 

Gadsden-211 is continuing service during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Please remember to call 9-1-1 only for life-threatening emergencies. For everything else, call our non-emergency number :256-549-4500 and 211 for social service information like shelters, food pantries, help with utilities and other social needs.

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COVID-19 Resources

  1. COVID_Spotlight

    COVID-19 Information and Response 

    Click here for updates on COVID-19 Information and the City of Gadsden Response. 
  2. COVID_Spotlight_biz

    COVID-19 Business Resources

    Below is a list of resources for local businesses looking for guidance on how to navigate impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. COVID_Spotlight2 copy

    Alabama Department of Public Health EMERGENCY ORDER  

    Read the statewide public health emergency order from State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and an important announcement from Governor Kay Ivey. .