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Piedmont City Council revises COVID-19 employee policy

PIEDMONT – In a brief meeting on Tuesday evening, the Piedmont City Council approved revisions to the city’s current COVID-19 employee policy. Mayor Bill Baker brought up making changes to the city’s policy at the last council meeting on Jan. 4.

The revised policy, effective immediately, states if an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, they are required to inform their immediate supervisor with proof of a positive test and they will be put on paid administrative sick leave on that day, until five days has passed from the date of the positive test, provided that the employee is fever free for a minimum of 24 hours prior to returning to work.

After five days, if an employee is still sick, they will use their sick leave to cover any remainder quarantine period given by the doctor.

The five-day period is from the start of the positive test. This does not apply to anyone other than the employee. If the employee is exposed to anyone that is COVID positive, but if the employee is not COVID positive, they will have to use their own leave to cover the time for testing or quarantine.

If an employee is in the hospital from serious symptoms and effects of COVID-19 past the date of five days from a positive test, the employee will continue to receive paid administrative sick leave until cleared by a healthcare physician to return to work. A doctor’s excuse must be provided to show the dates of absence and when fit to return to work.

The policy is set to expire on March 1, 2022. At that point, normal sick leave and regular leave policy will go back into effect regardless of diagnosis.

The council also approved a motion for Brady Burns to serve as a backup attorney for the City of Piedmont as needed. Minutes from the previous meeting, as well as bills for payment totaling $840,765.24 were also approved.

During the visitor comments portion of the meeting, local resident Harry Nuttall presented a $150 donation to the city’s first responders.

Baker reminded the council of the Class 3A state football championship trophy presentation at the Piedmont High School Gym on Thursday at 10 a.m. The Bulldogs won the football program’s fifth state title back on Dec. 2 in Birmingham with a dramatic 35-33 comeback victory over Montgomery Academy.

During its work session, the council heard from Mark Gidley, who is running for the House of Representatives District 29 seat.

Gidley, a Hokes Bluff native with ties to Piedmont, has never served in a political office before but said he’s received a calling to serve. He’s excited about the opportunity.

“My goal is to serve this district and be a voice,” Gidley said. “A representative is not to aspire to a position. When somebody says I’m running for representative, that means they are a representative for the 40-plus thousand people who are in this district. That means they will need somebody who will listen, hear what they need, and try to help meet those needs.

“I think you all know we are facing some challenges in our nation. Those challenges won’t just stay in California or New York. Those challenges will make their way to Alabama. I feel strongly that we need people who will stand for the values we believe in.

“I want to do all I can to make this district the best it can be, and my state, and fight for the values I believe, knowing the demographics of Piedmont, Ala., and Hokes Bluff, Ala., and all the other places (within the district).”

The next council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 1.

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