It is 4 p.m. on Friday, May 22, and I am writing to give you an update on the City of Mobile's efforts regarding COVID-19.
As of tonight, there are 1,904 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mobile County, out of 17,995 total tests. There are 107 deaths attributed to the virus.
This week was notable as we continued our progress in the fight against Coronavirus, and in the effort to safely re-open our economy.
A few highlights:
*We made significant strides to increase our testing capacity and to improve the flow of data to help inform our decision-making. I am certain that we are stronger and smarter in both of these crucial areas than we were when we started the week on Monday.
*With unemployment rising and businesses closing across the country, we announced three significant economic development projects in Mobile:
1)Airbus officially began production of A220 jets at their newly-completed facility at Brookley Field.
2)SpillTech announced a $5 million expansion of its manufacturing site in Mobile, adding 8 jobs.
3)Jones Welding Co., founded in Mobile in 1911, announced an $8.5 million project to construct a new building and equip it, adding 10 jobs.
*We continued to disperse checks from our "Ignite Mobile" fund to help businesses that were suffering as a result of COVID-19. We believe these funds can be a lifeline to small businesses and help jump-start their recovery.
*We issued an executive order enabling restaurants to serve customers outside of their dining areas, at tables and chairs set up on sidewalks and city rights-of-way. This will help provide the extra spacing they need to keep customers at a safe distance while dining.
*We received a new "Safer at Home" order from Gov. Ivey that will allow entertainment venues, athletic practices, schools and daycare centers to re-open in accordance with sanitation guidelines.
*In partnership with our friends at Visit Mobile and the Downtown Mobile Alliance, we launched a new "Enjoy Mobile with Confidence" program to help businesses safely re-open their doors. This program includes a toolkit to help businesses implement sanitation practices that will keep both their employees and customers safe.
*We took time to recognize our front-line workers as part of National Public Works Week, and to salute emergency medical technicians as part of National EMS Week. These workers provide an invaluable service to our citizens during normal times, and their work during this pandemic is something deserving of our gratitude.
As we go into this long weekend, please be mindful of the shared responsibility we have to one another by wearing masks when in public, maintaining 6 feet of physical distance and keeping your hands clean.
Looking ahead to Memorial Day, I hope you will take time to remember those who have served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice. Today I took some time to visit Mobile's Magnolia Cemetery and the adjoining National Cemetery, where more than 6,000 veterans are buried. It was a solemn reminder of the price of freedom. I hope you will join me in remembering those who have died in service to our country.
Finally, I hope you'll spend some time with your family or at least check in with your loved ones, even if it must be remotely.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson