Bill Pruitt

Pell City Mayor Bill Pruitt wrote a letter to State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris asking that Pell City businesses be allowed to open early.

In the three page letter, Pruitt addresses Gov. Kay Ivey’s new Safer at Home order by saying, “The City of Pell City has endeavored to inform our residents of ADPH guidelines and requirements and has enforced them, as necessary, but the achievement could not have been possible if it were not for the willingness and determination of our citizens to beat this virus that has so changed our daily lives.”

Pruitt says he is aware that the state is not out of the words yet, he fears we are on the brink of a much more devastating end. Pell City is full of small businesses, he explains and they are on the verge of collapsing.

“Pell City has hair salons, nail salons and massage therapists that are begging for an opportunity to take the same precautions at the close-contact dentist performing a routine cleaning,” Pruitt explained. Restaurants are begging for the opportunity to have dine-in meals under social distancing guidelines.

“Pell City is full of businesses begging for the chance to fight for survival. Without such a chance, some of them will not be with us in two weeks, four weeks, or whenever we reach a full reopening.”

Pruitt also addressed the mental health toll that the “shutdown” has taken on its residents. While certain businesses may be considered “non-essential” Pruitt explained, they are all essential to someone’s emotional health.

“Whether is is the small boost in self-esteem that comes from a fresh haircut or the smile of your server that comes with lunch, every interaction of every transaction of every business is essential.”

The isolation, uncertainty, and disruption of these unprecedented times are slowly chipping away at the mental state of even the most stable among us.

Pruitt laid out the statistics of testing in St. Clair County stating that the county has seen a 83 percent reduction in positive test rates since April 15. Furthermore, there is only one confirmed cases in Pell City, with the quarantine date for that individual ending May 2.

“The numbers prove that the citizens of Pell City have taken up the fight,” Pruitt said. Pruitt pleaded to let business fight whether they are hair salons or dental offices, whether they are restaurants or retail, let them fight.

“Pell City only asks that you consider that precedent, consider the success in our testing numbers, let us fight.”

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