This story is a part of AL.com’s collection “Alabamians who made a distinction in 2020,” highlighting individuals who have made our state a greater place to reside this yr. Tales on this collection will publish every day from Dec. 11 to Dec. 31, 2020. Discover all tales on the Alabamians who made a distinction in 2020 by clicking here.
Again on March 18, when Cell County had but to verify a COVID-19 case, Dr. Bernard Eichold issued an order to shut eating places and bars.
It was the primary time in Eichold’s 30-year profession because the county’s well being officer wherein he needed to make such a sweeping ruling. Eichold’s authority got here as a little bit of a shock to public officers in Cell who had been unaware of Alabama legislation that allowed the well being officers in Jefferson and Cell counties to enact wide-ranging orders for his or her respective counties.
“Early within the pandemic, some unilateral choices needed to be made in one of the best curiosity of public well being and the security of the residents,” mentioned Eichold, referring to the preliminary well being order on the onset of the pandemic that occurred someday earlier than Alabama State Well being Officer Dr. Scott Harris made the same name that affected companies statewide.
“Many individuals didn’t perceive nor recognize the gravity of the scenario or the long-term penalties however I’m very pleased with the residents for his or her dynamic response to a disaster,” he added.
Eichold has since been on the forefront on choices relating to masks sporting and Mardi Gras parades. He’s additionally needed to lead the county’s well being division’s response by means of two hurricanes – Sally in September and Zeta in October.
Eichold is a retired Navy captain whose background features a various background in medication. He was named Tulane College’s Alumni of the Yr for the College of Public Well being and Tropical medication in 2018.
Eichold, 70, will turn out to be the longest serving well being officer in Cell County subsequent yr.
“It is a problem for the group however I really feel fortunate to really feel as if I’ve the instruments within the toolbox to assist make good choices and work with expertise folks in Cell County,” Eichold mentioned.