ATHENS — Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks is working with department heads on COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of employees and residents as local virus numbers increase, and Athens City Hall offices are now closed to walk-in traffic through Jan. 15, when that procedure will be re-evaluated.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Limestone County has had 1,042 new cases in the last 14 days. As of today, there were 31 COVID-19 positive inpatients reported at Athens-Limestone Hospital, according to Huntsville Hospital System data.

“I have asked department heads to reiterate with employees the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing,” Marks said in a release. “In addition, I have asked each department to set protocols in place regarding public access to their facilities.”

City employees are working, and each department is offering ways for residents to remotely access employees, information and forms. The city’s website is www.athensal.us, which lists contact information for each department and provides information on payments, forms and services.

Those with appointments will undergo a temperature check.

The city is offering options to view public meetings, such as council meetings, online by live stream via YouTube at CityofAthensAla. People who attend in person will undergo a temperature check.

Athens Fire and Rescue stations are closed to walk-in traffic and visitors until further notice.

The Athens Utilities customer accounts office is open, and employees are behind a barrier. Customers must wear a mask. A temperature check station is being installed to check those who enter.

The front lobby at the Athens Police Department and Municipal Court is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for those who have business with police or court. Those who enter must wear a mask, and no more than three people are allowed in the lobby at the same time.

Chief Floyd Johnson encourages citizens to communicate by phone or email if possible. The main police number is 256-233-8710.

City Hall phone numbers include the mayor's office, 256-233-8730; Building Department, 256-233-8715; Public Works, 256-233-8725; city clerk, 256-233-8720; business licenses, 256-233-8003, Fire Prevention Bureau, 256-233-8723; Human Resources, 256-233-8737; and One Stop Shop, 256-262-1525.

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marian.accardi@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2438. Twitter @DD_MAccardi.

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