Florence city leaders hold press conference regarding COVID-19

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FLORENCE, Ala. — In other areas of north Alabama, city leaders are choosing not to declare a state of emergency. Florence Mayor Steve Holt made that announcement Monday afternoon at a special meeting.

Local leaders continue to state just how fluid the situation is in regard to COVID-19. Mayor Steve Holt mentioned at the beginning of the meeting how communities can handle good news and they can handle bad news—but it's the news of the unknown that challenges us.

The meeting addressed how news surrounding COVID-19 is changing daily. Mayor Holt mentioned that in all of the uncertainty, he continues to lean on his faith and encourages everyone to not be afraid or discouraged.

Lauderdale County EMA Director, George Graybryan spoke on how other communities are declaring states of emergency but he doesn't believe Florence is at that point. Both he and the mayor say that city business is still being conducted as needed—although how it's conducted has been modified slightly for the safety of the citizens and employees.

“It may be a question of not if it will be here but when it’ll be here, but right now we want you to know and we want our citizens of Florence to know that we’re going to continue what we’re doing just like the hospital would or the news media would or others that have to continue their work, the City of Florence is going to do this,” said the mayor.

Other leaders spoke as well like UNA President Ken Kitts as well as Florence City Schools Superintendent Jimmy Shaw to explain how they are responding to COVID-19.

As of Monday, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lauderdale County.

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