ALBANY — The city of Albany may have to send some employees home again due to the increasing number of novel coronavirus cases in the community.
In recent weeks, 43 city employees have tested positive, City Manager Sharon told the Albany City Commission during a Wednesday work session.
“COVID-19 numbers are rising among city staff, and we are monitoring that,” she said. “It is highly likely we will go back to social distancing and have some employees work (remotely).
“You’ve all heard the reports. The hospital is running out of beds. COVID-19 is increasing in our community as it is in other communities.”
The city also is monitoring the recently restarted recreational basketball program, Subadan said.
Commissioner John Howard said his recommendation would be shutting the program down sooner rather than later due to the risk of a child being exposed and taking the virus home to an older family member.
“I think we should shut it down,” Howard said.
The Ward I commissioner also suggested that the city make some public service announcements to provide information to residents about the current conditions and the availability of vaccines to the public.
During the early months of the pandemic the Albany Police Department, as well as the Dougherty County Police Department and Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office, conducted compliance checks on businesses, and Mayor Bo Dorough suggested that effort may need to be restarted as well. Some businesses are not complying with Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order, Dorough said.
“We are aware of bars during the holidays that were at capacity even as our numbers were spiking,” he said.
The governor’s order requires that bars operate with no more than half of the rated occupancy number, the mayor said, and some restaurants also were violating the requirement about spacing between patrons.
“By virtue of that executive order, those are state laws,” Dorough said. “I know this is difficult to enforce. We have an obligation to enforce this, especially in light of what’s been occurring in recent weeks.”
Dorough also requested that Subadan release information, as it becomes available, to media outlets for dissemination.
The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 increased to more than 90 last week, and the number of deaths also is increasing, although they are not at the level seen during the spring and early summer.