PICKENS COUNTY DEALS WITH CORONAVIRUS COMPLICATIONS
Rural counties are doing the best they can to combat COVID-19. In Pickens County, 2020 has been a tough year. In January, a tornado ripped through part of the county, killing three people. Last month the area lost their only hospital due to financial hardships.
“It has had a tremendous effect on us not only at the Sheriff’s Office but in the community as well,” Pickens County Sheriff Todd Hall said.
As of Friday, April 10 at 8 p.m., Pickens County had one confirmed coronavirus cases and no deaths reported. There is a county jail and a state prison in Pickens County. Hall said his department is taking precautions as they accept new inmates.
“Now our jail, we have done some things to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into our facility,” Hall said. “We are still taking prisoners but we are taking steps to isolate new prisoners who come in. We want to make sure we do everything we can to prevent COVID-19 from coming in. That being said, we can take all these precautions and still be affected by it.”
The loss of the Pickens County Medical Center has put extra strain on all first responders having to travel to Tuscaloosa and Columbus, Mississippi to get to hospitals.
“That’s their only option now,” Hall said. “Our ambulance has been working overtime as you can imagine trying to take care of just the normal traffic, much less new traffic that has been generated by this virus.”
Despite the loss of their hospital, Hall believes his residents have been diligent in being test for COVID-19.
“They have been very proactive in trying to seek out testing facilities,” Hall said. “We have had some go into Mississippi. I know we have had several go into Tuscaloosa to get tested. We also have a mobile sight.”
The coronavirus mobile testing unit will be outside the Pickens County Health Department on Wednesdays.