March 12, 2020
UPDATE July 29, 2020:
The statewide Safer-At-Home Order has been amended. New changes -
Each employee, and each student in second grade or above, shall, to the greatest extent possible, wear a mask or other facial covering that covers their nose and mouth when in regular interaction within six feet of a person from another household.
The statewide mask requirement that went into effect on July 16 remains in effect. Facial coverings are required for each person that is within six feet of another person from a different household in any public space, including transportation, with some exceptions (mentioned below).
This order is in effect through 5 PM on August 31, 2020 unless circumstances present the need to change or extend this order. To see the full order: https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/07/2020-07-29-15th-Supplemental-SOE-COVID-19.pdf
UPDATE July 15, 2020:
The statewide Safer at Home Order has been amended. New changes -
Effective July 16, 2020 at 5 PM - facial coverings are required for each person that is within six feet of another person from a different household in any of the following places: an indoor space open to the general public, a vehicle operated be a transportation service, or an outdoor public space where ten or more people are gathered.
Exceptions include the following: any person 6 years of age or younger; any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a facial cover; any person consuming food or drink or seated at a restuarant to eat or drink; any person obtaining a service a service (medical or dental procedures) that requires removal of masks; any person required to remove a facial cover to confirm identity in security or screening; people engaged in active exercise in a gym subject to 6 foot rule; persons engaging in athletic events in compliance with the Safer at Home Order; any person swimming in a pool, lake, or other water attraction; when needed for essential effective communication or broadcasts subject to the 6 foot rule; and any first responder or employee where job safety prevents wearing a facial covering durty to established safety protocols.
Masks can be factory made, homemade, or improvised with household items such as bandanas, scarves, or t-shirts. Failure to comply could lead to a fine or jail time.
Additionally, the Safer at Home Update states that all employers shall take reasonable steps, where practicable as work duties permit, to protect employees by encouraging the use of facial coverings, maintaining six feet of space between employees, regularly disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces, encouraging handwashing, preventing sick employees from coming into contact with others, facilitating remote working arrangements, and minimizing employee travel.
Businesses and offices should also strive to protect customers and guests by encouraging the use of facial coverings, maintaining six feet of space between persons, and regularly disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces.
Currently, this order is in effect through 5 PM on July 31, 2020 unless circumstances present the need to change or extend this order. To see the full order: https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/07/2020-07-15-14th-Supplemental-SOE-COVID-19.pdf
UPDATE July 1, 2020:
The statewide Safer at Home Order has been extended through July 31, 2020. New changes -
Effective July 3 - hospitals and nursing homes/long term care facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living) shall limit visitors except in the case of certain compassionate care situations (maternity, end-of-life, or caregiver situations).
This order is in effect through 5 PM on July 31, 2020 unless circumstances present the need to change or extend this order. To see the full order: https://alabamapublichealth.gov/legal/assets/order-adph-cov-gatherings-063020.pdf
Additionally, last night the City of Tuscaloosa voted to mandate wearing facial coverings or masks in public within the city limits of the City of Tuscaloosa. This mandate will go into effect on Monday, July 6, 2020.
The Alabama Department of Public Health has developed a color-coded health guidance system to help guide health behaviors for individuals and businesses. Categories are: Very High (red), High (orange), Moderate (yellow), and Low (green). These categories indicate the risk of spread in that county. Calculations for each county's risk is based on the number of new cases each day, calculated with a rolling 3-day average to account for fluctuations in reporting. To find out what color Tuscaloosa County is, visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/b585b67ef4074bb2b4443975bf14f77d
UPDATE May 21, 2020:
New changes to the Safer at Home Order -
Effective 5 PM May 22 - entertainment venues, including bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing centers, tourist attractions, race tracks, playgrounds, etc., are allowed to open with an occupancy of 50% capacity. Athletic activities may resume in practicing, conditioning, drills, and similar activities subject to social distancing and mask wearing.
Effective 5 PM May 23 - child care facilities or day care facilities, day and overnight youth camps may resume activities subject to social distancing.
Effective June 1 - all schools, public and private, may continue subject to social distancing and masking.
This Safter at Home Order is in effect through 5 PM on July 3, 2020 or until circumstances present the need to amend the order. See the full order here: https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/05/Safer-at-Home-Order-FINAL-5.21.2020.pdf
UPDATE May 11, 2020:
UPDATE April 28, 2020:
The current "Stay at Home" order expires on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 5 PM. At that time, Alabama will move to a "Safer at Home" order that is in effect until May 15, 2020.
What's the difference?
With the updated "Safer at Home" order, individuals are still encouraged to stay at home as much as possible and follow good hygiene practices, but are not mandated to do so. Lower-risk businesses may open up, subject to sanitation and social-distancing guidelines, and ALL retail stores may open up, subject to a 50% occupancy rate. Alabama beaches will reopen, with no gatherings of more than 10 people allowed and people must maintain separation of 6 feet.
What stays the same: non-work gatherings are still limited to fewer than 10 people, maintaining a 6 foot distance. Senior citizen centers have suspended programming and schools and educational facilities are still closed to in-person education. Entertainment venues (theaters, night clubs, bowling alleys, etc.), athletic facilities and gyms, and close-contact services (barber shops, salons, tattoo services) are still closed. Restaurants remain take-out, curbside, or delivery only.
See the entire order: https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/04/Safer-At-Home-Order-Signed-4.28.20.pdf
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.