Cullman Council, mayor issue orders limiting number of customers in retail establishments

Order in effect at 1 a.m. Saturday

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Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs and council members follow along as Cullman City Council President Jenny Folsom reads the resolution. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman City Council on Friday passed a resolution followed by an order from Mayor Woody Jacobs limiting the number of customers allowed into area retail establishments at one time and enforcing social distancing requirements in those establishments, a day after the City of Jasper issued a similar order. Cullman’s order goes even beyond the regulations set forth in the Jasper order, limiting the capacity of retail and grocery stores to 40% of the maximum capacity established by the fire marshal.

Cullman’s order will go into effect at 1 a.m. Saturday.

The City Council resolution reads:

Declaration Suspending Certain Activities Pursuant to COVID-19 virus

WHEREAS, by the Proclamations dated March 13, 18, 20, and 23, 2020 Go Ivey found that the appearance of COVID-19 virus in the state has created a potential of widespread exposure to an infectious agent that poses significant risk of substantial harm to a large number of people and declared a state public health emergency under Alabama Code Section 31-9-1, et sq al;

WHEREAS, on March 26, 2020 after subsequent proclamations of March 18, 20 and 23 Governor Ivey proclaimed new implications of COVID-19 had come to light on a continual basis, requiring flexibility and adaptability by all levels of government with the State of Alabama; and

WHEREAS, Governor Ivey proclaimed the existence of conditions that warrant implementation of additional extraordinary measures and relief during the state public health emergency now in effect in order to guard public health and protect human life, and

WHEREAS, the State Health Officer has issued orders suspending certain public gatherings due to the risk of infection by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which applies to all counties of the state; and

WHEREAS, among his orders he has suspended ALL non-working gatherings of 10 people or more or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons are prohibited; and

WHEREAS, subsequently he has issued an order effective beginning March 28, 2020 to close all non-essential businesses, venues, and activities to non employees which said order lists, among other, retail stores;

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Cullman recognizes that extraordinary measures must be taken to ensure the greatest possible success for the community in combating the continuing spread of the pandemic disease; and

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Cullman, in following the guidance of the Attorney General, and the State Health Department, pursuant their powers under Title 11-47-131 in accordance with the definition of quarantine in the Alabama Administrative Code 420-4-1.02(10);

THEREFORE, pursuant to Title 22-12-12, and pursuant to the intent of the Governor’s proclamation and the state health officer’s order, and the health officer’s recommendation, the council hereby resolves as follows:

The Mayor shall issue orders necessary to accomplish a quarantine sufficient to maintain the minimum distance people may gather along with the number of individuals allowed to congregate including, but not limited to the guideline of the Governor, and State health officers, to protect life and property of its citizens, including the following:

Social distancing:

  1. Allow no more than 40% of state fire capacity in the store, allowed to be open pursuant to the order of the State Health Department, at a time. To calculate the maximum number of occupants permitted, (a) multiply the maximum occupancy amount times 0.4 or (b) divide the total square footage of the sales space by 75. 40% capacity limit does not apply to employees. Require staff to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store and to enforce this as the emergency maximum occupancy. 
  2. Clearly mark 6 spacing in lines and other high-traffic areas and consider ways to encourage spacing if there are lines outside. Consider posting signage or using ropes to direct customers and to limit bottlenecks/encourage flow in high density areas of stores. 
  3. Designate employees to monitor social distancing and assist customers.
  4. Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout.

 

Cleaning and Sanitation:

  1. Designate employee(s) to ensure that the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC are followed.
  2. Discontinue self-serve foods and product sampling.

 

Notice:

  1. Post a conspicuous notice of the store’s emergency maximum occupancy at all entrances.

Limit time in store, especially for vulnerable populations:

  1. Exclusive hours for those in high-risk populations, including seniors, where stores will limit their capacity to 40% of fire capacity at any time.
  2. Larger grocery stores and retailers (those with greater than 25,000 SF) are encouraged to offer pickup and/or delivery options.

 

The Mayor is hereby granted the authority on behalf of the council to issue such order as he deems necessary to carry out the intended social distancing mandated by the Governor, the Health Officers, and to protect life and property during this declared emergency.

This Resolution shall remain in effect until such time as it is rescinded by Mayoral Order

In the event that this Resolution is less restrictive or in conflict with a statewide order of the State Health Officer, then the order of the State Health Officer supersedes this Resolution. In the event the State Health Officer implements a state-wide order that is more restrictive or stringent, then the order of the State Health Officer order shall take precedence.

The mayor’s order reads:

Guidelines for Retail and Grocery Stores

WHEREAS, by Proclamations dated March 13, 18, 20 and 23, 2020, Governor Ivey found that the appearance of COVID-19 in the State of Alabama creates the potential of widespread exposure to an infectious agent that poses a significant risk of substantial harm to a large number of people and declared a state public health emergency under ALA CODE Section 31-9-1, et seq; and

WHEREAS, by Resolution and Proclamation of Emergency dated April 3, 2020, the City Council of the City of Cullman, pursuant to its authority to provide for the health and safety of persons and property under ALA CODE Section 11-45-1 and to preserve the health of the inhabitants of the municipality under ALA CODE Section 31-9-10, declared that it is in the best interest of the city to adopt policies and procedures consistent with directives from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC)to prepare and protect the city from dangers arising from the unprecedented pandemic arising from the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with the State Health Officer; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Order of the State Health Officer suspending certain public gatherings due to risk of infection by COVID-19, issued March 19, 2020 and amended March 27, 2020, all gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons are prohibited, and employers are directed to take all reasonable steps to meet these standards for employees and customers and following the guidelines of the Attorney General and pursuant to the powers under 11-47-131 ; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the Resolution and Proclamation, the council authorized the Mayor to issue orders as appropriate to protect life and property;

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

Retail and grocery stores in the City of Cullman are directed to institute the following guidelines as of (Saturday the 4th) day of April, 2020 at (1 a.m.)

Social distancing:

  1. Allow no more than 40% of state fire capacity in the store at a time. To calculate the maximum number of occupants permitted, (a) multiply the maximum occupancy amount times 0.4 or (b) divide the total square footage of the sales space by 75. 40% capacity limit does not apply to employees. Require staff to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store and to enforce this as the emergency maximum occupancy.
  2. Clearly mark 6’ spacing in lines and other high-traffic areas and consider ways to encourage spacing if there are lines outside. Consider posting signage or using ropes to direct customers and to limit bottlenecks/encourage flow in high density areas of stores.
  3. Designate employees to monitor social distancing and assist customers.
  4. Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout.

 

Cleaning and Sanitation:

  1. Designate employee(s) to ensure the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC are followed
  2. Discontinue self-serve foods and product sampling.

 

Notice:

  1. Post a conspicuous notice of the store’s emergency maximum occupancy at all entrances.

Limit time in store, especially for vulnerable populations:

  1. Exclusive hours for those in high-risk populations, including seniors, where stores will limit their capacity to 40% of fire capacity at any time.
  2. Larger grocery stores and retailers (those with greater than 25,000 SF), are encouraged to offer pickup and/or delivery options.

 

This Order shall remain in effect until such time as it is rescinded by Mayoral Order.

In the event that this Order is less restrictive or in conflict with a statewide order of the State Health Officer, then the order of the State Health Officer supersedes this Order. In the event the State Health Officer implements a state-wide order that is more restrictive or stringent, then the order of the State Health Officer order shall take precedence

Jasper’s order specified:

Guidelines for Retail and Grocery Stores

WHEREAS, by Proclamation dated March 13, 2020, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey found that the appearance of COVID-19 in the State of Alabama creates the potential of widespread exposure to an infectious agent that poses a significant risk of substantial harm to a large number of people and declared a state public health emergency under ALA CODE Section 31-9-1, et seq, and

WHEREAS, the City of Jasper, Alabama, is authorization, pursuant to its authority to provide for the health and safety of persons and property under ALA CODE Section 31-9-10(b)(1) and to preserve the health of the inhabitants of the municipality under ALA CODE Section 11-45-1. to adopt policies and procedures consistent with directives from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to prepare and protect the City and its residents from dangers arising from the unprecedented pandemic arising from the spread of COVID-19, and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Order of the State Health Officer Suspending Certain Public Gatherings due to Risk of Infection by COVID-19, issued March 19, 2020, and amended March 27, 2020, all gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons are prohibited, and, employers are directed to take all reasonable steps to meet these standards for employees and customers;

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

Retail and grocery stores located within the City of Jasper, Alabama, are directed to institute the following guidelines as of April 3, 2020, beginning at 7:00 a.m.

Social distancing:

  1. Allow no more than 50% of the store’s stated fire capacity to enter or remain within the store at a time. The maximum number of occupants permitted is calculated by either (a) multiplying the maximum occupancy amount times, or (b) dividing the total square footage of the retail sales space by 75. The 50% capacity limit provided for herein does not apply to employees. Each store or facility shall provide for staff or some other reliable method to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store and to enforce this as the emergency maximum occupancy.
  2. Clearly mark 6’ spacing in checkout or service lines and other high-traffic areas and consider ways to encourage spacing if there are lines outside. Consider posting signage or using ropes to direct customers and to limit bottlenecks/encourage flow in high-density areas of each store.
  3. Designate employees to monitor social distancing and assist customers.
  4. Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout.

 

Cleaning and sanitation:

  1. Designate employees) to ensure the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC are followed.
  2. Discontinue self-service foods (not to include vending machines) and product sampling.

 

Notice:

  1. Post a conspicuous notice of the store’s emergency maximum occupancy all entrances.

Limit time in store, especially for vulnerable populations:

  1. Exclusive hours for those in high-risk populations, including seniors, where stores will limit their capacity to 50% of fire capacity at any time
  2. Large grocery stores and retailers (those with greater than 25,000 SF), are encouraged to offer pickup and/or delivery options

 

This Order shall remain in effect until such time as it is rescinded by Mayoral Order or superseded by other action.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com