Aggressive new restrictions in effect as Alabama’s COVID-19 cases rise to 78

Updated: Mar. 19, 2020 at 5:59 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health says it has confirmed 78 cases of COVID-19, up from 68 Thursday morning.

ADPH updates the numbers online twice a day.

These are the numbers by county:

  • Baldwin- 1 (unchanged)
  • Calhoun- 1 (unchanged)
  • Chambers - 1 ( unchanged)
  • Elmore- 5 (unchanged)
  • Lee- 10 (unchanged)
  • Jefferson- 34 (up by 3)
  • Limestone- 1 (unchanged)
  • Madison- 5 (up by 4)
  • Mobile - 1 (up by 1)
  • Montgomery- 3 (up by 1)
  • Shelby- 9 (up by 1)
  • St. Clair- 1 (unchanged)
  • Talladega - 1 (unchanged)
  • Tuscaloosa- 4 (unchanged)
  • Walker – 1 (unchanged)
ADPH is reporting 78 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday.
ADPH is reporting 78 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday.(Source: WSFA 12 News)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, along with the Alabama Department of Public Health, issued a health order Thursday that puts statewide restrictions on restaurants, hospital visitors, day cares, beaches and more.

The following will be in effect until April 5:

  • All gatherings of 25 persons or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons, are prohibited. This Order shall apply to all gatherings, events or activities that bring 25 or more persons in a single room or single space at the same time.
  • Any restaurant, bar, brewery or similar establishments shall not permit on-premise consumption of food or drink. Governor Ivey continues to encourage patrons to visit their local eateries for take-out or delivery provided the social distancing protocols include maintaining a consistent six-foot distance between persons are followed.
  • All beaches will be closed effective today at 5:00 p.m. For clarification, the term “beach” means the sandy shoreline area abutting the Gulf of Mexico, whether privately or publicly owned, including beach access points.
  • Preschools and childcare centers will be closed effective at the close of school or business today. This shall not apply to licensed childcare centers that provide services exclusively to employees with: State and Local Governments, First Responders (including EMS and Fire Services), Law Enforcement, Hospitals, Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities), End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Centers, Pharmacies and grocery stores.
  • Effective immediately, all Hospitals and Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities) shall prohibit visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations such as maternity and end-of-life.
  • All elective dental and medical procedures shall be delayed, effective immediately.

“We understand that the health orders issued will be a hardship on Alabamians,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. “We must, first and foremost, protect the health and safety of our citizens. This decision has not been made lightly and will help to prevent the spread of this virus.”

The governor says she has also asked the Alabama Department of Human Resources and ADPH to explore emergency rulemaking to make critical exemptions to allow for daycare to be provided for health care workers and first responders.

Ivey and ADPH are also working to clarify how the social gatherings aspect of the order applies to employers and work environments.

“I am working with Dr. Harris to bring clarity and provide further information regarding today’s order on social distancing and the impact upon our workforce. My intent is to keep the Alabama economy moving, and I will do everything to ensure this happens," Ivey said Thursday evening.

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If you are experiencing symptoms, contact the Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 hotline to find out about testing locations and options. That number is 1-888-264-2256.

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