March 12, 2020
UPDATE: The Alabama State Health Officer has issued updated restrictions for the State of Alabama effective March 28, 2020 at 5 PM. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, and all non-essential businesses, venues, and activities shall be closed the public.
UPDATE: The City of Tuscaloosa has enacted a 24-hour curfew for citizens within the City limits. This order will go into effect on Sunday, March 29 at 10 PM and continue for one week. This will be evaluated weekly. This Executive Order does not apply to the City of Northport or Tuscaloosa County.
UPDATE: Tuscaloosa citizens can text the keyword COVIDTUSC to 888-777 to receive updates from government officials regarding the COVID-19 virus in Tuscaloosa County.
On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration for all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia. The same day, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a State of Emergency for Alabama to strengthen Alabama's efforts and plans already in place to deal with COVID-19. This helps alleviate health care facilities and providers, schools, and citizens.
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The COVID-19 virus is a new one that has not spread through the public before. Coronavirus is most commonly spread from infected persons though droplets in the air (by coughing and sneezing), close personal contact (within six feet or shaking hands), and touching a surface or object with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Individuals who are older or have a chronic health condition such as respiratory issues, heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease, may be at a higher risk for getting infected by COVID-19. These individuals should take extra precautions to avoid infection.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19, the public is urged to continue practicing social distancing and other precautionary measures, including:
- Wash hands with soap and water
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if handwashing if not possible
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your elbow
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed
- Stay home when sick
- Stay aware from people who are sick
The symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you are sick and you think you may have been infected with coronavirus, there are a few things you can do to help prevent the disease from spreading to other people in your home and community. First, stay home except to get medical care. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. Avoid public areas and public transportation if you must leave your home. Call ahead before visiting your doctor. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and immediately wash your hands after. Avoid sharing personal household items and clean "high-touch" surfaces every day.
In response to the increasing number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Alabama, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is making the following recommendations for public gatherings:
- No mass gatherings of 25 persons or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between participants. This may include festivals, parades, assemblies, or sporting events.
- Senior adults or those with chronic health problems should avoid gatherings (outside of close family) of 10 or more persons, and should avoid travel by air, bus, or train.
- All persons should consider whether out-of-state travel plans may be delayed or cancelled.
- Participants in religious services or events, weddings, funerals, and family events should exercise prudence and maintain consistent six-foot distance between participants if possible.
To keep up to date on specific updates, closures, and other information related to COVID-19, check out the links included below.