Madison County Emergency Management Director Bobby Smith is urging everyone in the county to heed the government and the CDC’s recommendation to stay home as much as possible and to avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more.

He also urged anyone who feels ill or who thinks they have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus to self-quarantine at home and report any symptoms to their doctor or the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) COVID-19 hotline.

Smith said he and other county officials are currently monitoring the situation after the pastor of Danielsville Baptist Church, located just off the courthouse square, became the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county on Monday.

“That importance of following these guidelines cannot be overstated,” Smith said.

He said that there were about 25 people in attendance for church service on Sunday, March 15, the last day services were held. An unknown number of children were also present for the service. Those who were present have about six more days to self-quarantine as of Monday.

“The 14 recommended days of quarantine are from the day of exposure,” Smith noted.

Also Monday, Smith said he received notification that Danielsville Mayor Michael Wideman had declared a Declaration of Emergency, effective until April 6, that orders all restaurants, coffee shops and other places where food is served to the public be limited to take-out, drive-through or delivery, with all “on premises dining” prohibited inside the city limits. Wideman further ordered that all public assemblages, events and gatherings of 10 people or more is prohibited within the city limits and that all barber shops, hair salons and fitness training facilities will be limited to a total of six people or less (including sylists/trainers) and should follow the CDC’s recommendation of six feet of physical distancing. The order took effect at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

And though the city of Comer has not made such a declaration, Smith said he had spoken to Mayor Jody Blackmon, who said the city intends to enforce the city and county’s recommendations and that dine-in eating at restaurants and any gathering of more than 10 people would also be prohibited.

Smith also cited the governor’s executive order enacted Monday regarding the need for medically fragile individuals in long-term care facilities or nursing homes, those with chronic lung disease and those undergoing cancer treatments should shelter in place.

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