COVID-19: Ivey, ADPH issue updated statewide health order

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) on Friday issued an update to the statewide health order to aid in Alabama’s efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Effective Friday, March 20, all non-work-related gatherings of 25 persons or more, or non-work-related gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent 6-foot distance between persons, are prohibited. Employers shall take all reasonable steps to meet these standards for employees and customers.

The updated order also expands the availability of child day care in the state as long as certain guidelines are followed, and includes clarifying language regarding senior citizen centers and schools.

“As our state works in overdrive to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are making decisions based on the best information we have in the moment. I have no doubt that as this situation rapidly unfolds, decisions will need to be evaluated and amended,” said Ivey.

“Yesterday’s health order was issued to be as comprehensive as possible to combat the spread of the virus and to ensure the state was doing everything within its authority to protect the people of Alabama,” she continued. “In order to keep Alabama going, we must keep Alabama businesses going to the best of our abilities. I fully support the restrictions of social or recreational gatherings of 25 people or less and strongly encourage individuals to maintain a 6-foot distance. However, this order was intended to apply to non-work-related gatherings. However, employers should take all necessary steps to meet these standards for employees and customers.

“Let me be abundantly clear – I have no intention of slowing down our workforce through unnecessary, burdensome regulations. We will only be able to mitigate the risk of the virus through the efforts of our hardworking manufacturers that will produce life-sustaining supplies, our truckers who move these goods down the road, and our valued retailers that will make them available to our citizens.

“My administration has been given clear instructions to do everything possible to ensure the continuity of government while being flexible and responsible to the needs of our state. I ask for the support of my fellow Alabamians as we work through these challenging days together.”

“Alabamians must cooperate, understand their actions affect other people, and take seriously the need to protect health and safety,” said State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris,because COVID-19 is a deadly virus.”