Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey today announced a statewide stay-at-home order from the state health officer effective beginning Saturday, April 4 at 5 p.m. It will expire Thursday, April 30 at 5 p.m.
“Our expected surge in hospitalizations will occur in about two or three weeks and those patients are the ones who will become infected in the next few days,” Ivey said.
“Today I am convinced that our previous efforts to limit social interaction and reduce the chances of spreading this virus have not been enough,” the governor added. “And that’s why we’re taking this more drastic step.”
Residents in the state are allowed to leave their homes to obtain prescriptions or medical supplies and food and supplies for themselves and others they are caring for or their pets. They can leave to get necessities for their homes or their vehicles as well as for distance learning and education materials. They can also leave home for essential services or to attend religious services within certain constraints.
Other exceptions are allowed for those caring for others, going to work at “essential businesses” or doing limited work activity at other businesses. Outdoor activities that involve fewer than 10 people and six feet of distance between others are also allowed.
The governor’s order also limits the number of people allowed in essential retailers such as grocery stores, pharmacies and big box stores to half of what the normal occupancy allowed by the fire marshal would be. While within the store, social distancing has to be practiced among customers and employees.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) was reporting 1,515 COVID-19 cases in 65 of the state’s counties, with only Geneva and Perry counties yet to have anyone test positive for the disease. The ADPH was reporting 38 deaths, with 21 of them confirmed to have been caused by COVID-19.
Dr. Scott Harris, state health officer, said anyone testing positive for COVID-19 will now be quarantined at home for 14 days and only allowed to leave to seek needed medical treatment.
You can read the full order here and you can watch the entire press conference announcing the order below.