MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAFF) - Gov. Kay Ivey announced a statewide stay-at-home order during a joint press conference Friday afternoon.
The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 4. It will expire at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 30.
Ivey says the current social distancing efforts have not been enough and that this step is necessary.
Some highlights of the order are:
- All non-work-related gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.
- Nonessential businesses must remain closed.
- Citizens must stay home except when they need to perform “essential activities.” These are laid out in the full order posted below.
- Occupancy at grocery stores and big box stores is limited to no more than 50 percent of the normal occupancy load as determined by the fire marshal.
- Religious services must involve fewer than 10 people who maintain a consistent 6-foot distance from each other or a drive-in worship service.
- Anyone leaving their home during this order must continue to take reasonable steps to maintain 6 feet of separation.
- Essential activities the governor’s order recognizes include the following, though there are exceptions or stipulations in some cases: Working, visiting family members, obtaining necessary supplies or services, attending religious services, taking care of others, engaging in outdoor activity, shelter, and travel that is required by law.
Here is the state’s full order:
Attorney General Steve Marshall said the order can be enforced criminally, but he said he hopes it will not come to that.
Disobeying the order is a Class C misdemeanor that can carry a $500 penalty.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle issued the following statement about the announcement:
“The City of Huntsville fully supports the Alabama Department of Health’s (ADPH) Stay at Home Order announced today by Governor Ivey, This is a deliberate and measured response to the COVID-19 threat that faces our state and our community. The coming four weeks will be significant as the epicenter of this virus hits Alabama. Since the first confirmed case of the virus entered Madison County on March 17, Huntsville and our COVID-19 team partners – EMA, ADPH, medical community, hospitals, HEMSI, local governments, Redstone Arsenal, and the Chamber — have been working to apply the necessary controls and measures to stop the spread of this virus. The Stay at Home Order will further help us flatten the curve and save lives. None of this works without the support of our community. We must continue to take the virus seriously, to remain at home unless absolutely necessary, to protect the lives of those we love and that of our healthcare workers and those on the front lines. We will get through this together – six feet apart.”