Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox issues 24-hour curfew, asking residents to stay home

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox issues 24-hour curfew, asking residents to stay home
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox speaks at a March press conference (Source: WBRC)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has enacted an 24 hour curfew, asking all Tuscaloosa residents to remain in their homes 24 hours a day, leaving only for essential purposes, starting March 29 at 10 p.m. The extended curfew is to remain in place through April 11.

“Under the extended curfew, Tuscaloosa residents will be asked to remain in their home or place of residence at all times, leaving only for essential purposes. These purposes include but are not limited to: work at essential businesses; visiting essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies, financial institutions and gas stations; providing care for others; retrieving to-go orders from restaurants; attending doctor’s appointments; and exercising outside – as long as six feet of social distance is maintained. Businesses and places of employment that are considered essential may continue to operate under health protocols as outlined by the Alabama Department of Public Health. Such businesses include, but are not limited to: public safety and emergency services; public health & medical providers; utility providers; medical providers; media outlets; delivery services; organizations that provide or restock essential services such as food, fuel, pharmaceutical supplies or emergency supplies; and federal, state, county and city governments. All non-essential businesses and services will be closed under this order.”

Mayor Maddox cites serious concerns over hospital capacity and the city’s ability to care for the number of people anticipated to contract the coronavirus.

Tuscaloosa residents had mixed opinions on the twenty four hour, a day seven days a week curfew.

"I think that’s taking things too far. We know the severity of the virus. We know how it spreads. I think everything has a balance within reason,” Keith Williams said.

Doris Holley disagreed. “It comes a time in life when you’ve got to take inventory. And if the mayor and our other public officials want us to stay at home, we have to stay at home and abide by the rules,”

Violating the curfew is a misdemeanor. Penalties for violating curfew include fines of up $300 and up to 180 days in jail. The day and nighttime curfew goes into effect Sunday. It will remain in effect until April 11th.

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