Drastic new measures in Jefferson and surrounding counties to help stop the spread of coronavirus

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KCBD Graphics(KCBD NewsChannel 11)
Updated: Mar. 17, 2020 at 9:58 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson says he is ordering strict prohibitions starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, regarding the coronavirus.

Tuesday morning, Gov. Kay Ivey issued orders for Jefferson and surrounding counties, including Tuscaloosa, Walker, Blount, St. Clair and Shelby.

1 - Effective March 17, all gatherings of 25 people or more are prohibited in Jefferson County.

2 - All senior citizen centers and senior citizen gatherings shall be closed. Dr. Wilson is urging senior centers to make sure people can get meals during this time. The United Way is working to provide those meals on a delivery system and through Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers.

3 - All nursing homes and longterm care facilities shall prohibit visitors, expect for compassionate care.

4 - Effective March 19-April 6 - all private schools for all grades will be closed.

5 - Preschools and childcare centers with 12 or more children will be closed.

6 - Any restaurant, brewery or bar shall not permit onsite food or drink to be served for at least one week. This could be extended.

Dr. Wilson says the county has 17 confirmed cases, but the number of cases could double every two days if we don’t make these necessary changes.

Dr. Wilson said, “We need to take drastic efforts to avoid contact with one another. We have to stop the bleeding.” Dr. Wilson also said this is a time for neighbors to help each other as they can, in a safe manner.

Dr. Wilson said he believes we have community spread when it comes to coronavirus in Jefferson County. According to CDC, community spread means “spreading easily and sustainably in the community.”

The Jefferson County Sheriff says deputies will support the enforcement of the measures from the health officer.

Deputies say they’re also medically screening every new inmate at the jail, and instituting new hygiene procedures to prevent the spread among the jail population.

Gov. Ivey’s announcement Tuesday morning can be seen below in a tweet:

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