Governor Kay Ivey announces that she is putting the State of Alabama under a stay at home order on Friday afternoon April 3, 2020.
Gov. Ivey has issued a “stay-at-home” for Alabamians, three weeks after the first confirmed case was announced in Montgomery County.
The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Saturday and will remain in effect until April 30.
The order mandates Alabamians stay at home unless they’re out to provide essential services, obtain necessary supplies, to attend religious services, to take care of others, to work, to engage in outdoor activity, to seek shelter in unsafe conditions, to travel under court order or to see family members.
Anyone in violation of the order could face a misdemeanor charge, fine, jail time or a combination of those.
“No one is immune from this. It’s no even safe to go to our places of worship,” Ivey said during a news conference. “Our fellow Alabamians, I plead with you, I urge you in the strongest way possible. We’ve got to take this order serious otherwise it is a fact people will die.”
The order supersedes any previous orders that individual municipalities may have implemented previously.
Only two counties remain without a single confirmed COVID-19 case in Alabama as the statewide total climbed to 1,515.
According to numbers published by the Alabama Department of Public Health Friday morning, 21 people have been confirmed to have died from COVID-19, while there have been 34 deaths total reported. Nearly 8,400 have been tested for the virus, according to the ADPH.
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Ivey has gradually ramped up the state’s response to the outbreak. The governor first declared a state of emergency after the Alabama Department of Public Health reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 13.
On March 18, Ivey moved the scheduled March 31 primary runoff elections to July 14 in an effort to prevent further transmission of the virus, particularly among retired poll workers.
Ivey issued an amended order March 20 banning non-work gatherings of 25 people or more and closed the state beaches. The order renewed the school closure plan and also banned on-premise consumption of food or drinks.
The order also banned visit and most nonessential health care workers at hospitals, and suspended elective medical and dental procedures. It will be reviewed before April 6.
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On March 26, Ivey closed public schools for the remainder of the semester and ordered students to finish this year’s lessons at home. The following day, the ADPH issues health orders closing all non-essential businesses.
The coronavirus COVID-19 causes mild to moderate flu- and pneumonia-like illnesses in those young and relatively healthy, though some experts caution it is still more intense than the average cold or flu for many patients.
But it can be deadly, particularly in those older than 60 or with pre-existing health conditions, and young people may be transmitting the virus without even knowing it, says Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings.
There are also rising concerns about how equipped American hospitals are to handle large influxes of cases, as currently seen in Italy. Extreme cases that require ongoing medical treatment often require ventilators, which hospitals have a limited supply of.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Kirsten Fiscus at 334-318-1798 or KFiscus@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @KDFiscus
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