In response to the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in Alabama, the Alabama Department of Public Health continues to update statewide orders and recommendations. Exactly one week after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Alabama, ADPH revised orders and recommendations for the state.
As previously reported, the following guidelines were issued Tuesday, March 17, for Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Blount, Shelby, St. Clair, and Walker counties. On Friday, March 20, the ADPH expanded those county-specific guidelines to include the entire state.
All non-work-related gatherings of 25 or more persons or non-work related gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons, are prohibited. Employers are to take all reasonable steps to meet these standards for employees and customers.
• All restaurants, bars, and breweries are limited to delivery or pick-up. Hospital food service is exempted from this order.
• Daycare centers and preschools with 12 or more children must close. This ban doesn’t apply to childcare centers serving families of government, first responders, or healthcare workers.
• All senior citizen centers and gatherings shall be closed.
• All nursing homes and longterm care facilities shall prohibit all visitors except for compassionate care.
• Visitors and non-essential personnel are banned at hospitals. There are exceptions for end-of-life and maternity situations.
• All private schools at all grade levels must close.
• All Alabama beaches are closed.
• All elective medical and dental procedures are delayed. Medical offices remain open and are serving patients.
While workplaces should attempt to heed these recommendations whenever possible, it is understood that exceptions may be needed for essential government functions, municipal and state legislative bodies, and healthcare facilities including clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies.
Businesses are urged to consider using electronic or video meetings if possible.
ADPH continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to provide guidance regarding COVID-19. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19, the public is urged to continue practicing social distancing and other precautionary measures, including:
• Use common sense.
• Wash hands with soap and water.
• Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if hand washing is not possible.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your elbow.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Stay at home when sick.
• Stay away from people who are sick.
Please keep in mind, there are thousands of people in Blount County who all need the same necessities such as food, hand sanitizer, soap, Lysol, paper products, toilet paper, etc. Please buy only what you need so that others are able to buy what they need.
Visit alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/ 2019-coronavirus.html for updated COVID-19 information. The Blount Countian will continue to bring you the latest information throughout the week on our website at www.blountcountian.com.