City of Birmingham considering extension of shelter-in-place order

The Birmingham skyline. (source: WBRC)
The Birmingham skyline. (source: WBRC)
Published: Apr. 3, 2020 at 9:46 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: The City of Birmingham is meeting at 9:30 a.m. Friday to discuss extending its shelter-in-place order.

We will provide updates when they are available.

ORIGINAL: The Birmingham City Council voted yes to an ordinance to shelter in place. The votes were 9-0.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has proposed a shelter-in-place ordinance to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The ordinance set a 24-hour curfew from March 24 to April 3, 2020. During the curfew, everyone in Birmingham would be asked to remain in their homes except as listed in the ordinance.

The order does not apply to first responders, utilities contractors/employees, people seeking essential services such as groceries or medicine, federal, state, county or city employees. According to the ordinance, all nonessential businesses must comply with the new restrictions.

However, it will not affect anyone’s ability to report to work at businesses that are permitted to remain open, utilize curbside pickup for restaurants, grocery stores, or go to medical appointments.

The ordinance does not add any businesses to the list of nonessential list of businesses that have been ordered to close by the Jefferson County Department of Health.

There are also provisions within the public safety ordinance that allow for some exceptions.

People may lawfully leave their homes while this ordinance is in effect to engage in the following activities: outdoor activities that do not involve physical contact with others (walking, biking, hiking), care for family member or pets, providing goods and services or work necessary to build, operate, maintain or manufacture essential infrastructure. There is a full list of activities in the article below:

According to city leaders failure to comply with this ordinance is punishable by the general penalty provided in Sec. 1-1-6 of the General Code of the City of Birmingham.

Dr. Sarah Nafziger, Co-Chair, UAB’s Emergency Management Committee, said the hospital has treated an influx of COVID-19 patients over the last few days and she said cases will continue to rise at a high rate.

UAB day-by-day patient numbers
UAB day-by-day patient numbers(UAB)

Mayor Woodfin said, “I am more than confident that if we take these measures now we can more than recover from the COVID-19 health crisis.” I’m asking you to remain apart so we can come back together stronger than ever.”

When asked about the curfew and enforcing it through law enforcement, Rick Journey, Director of Communication said, “Our intent isn’t to arrest people or put them in jail. We have to balance that and make sure people are complying with the law and the health department.”

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