The Alabama Department of Public Health has issued an Order of the State Health Officer, effective immediately (Tuesday, March 17). The order, which applies to Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Blount, St. Clair, and Shelby Counties contains the following:
- Effective at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 until April 6, gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited.
- Effective Wednesday, March 18, until April 6, all senior citizen center gatherings will be closed.
- At the close of school or business on Wednesday, March 18 until April 6, all private schools, pre-schools, and child care centers with 12 or more children must close.
- Hospital child care centers will be exempt from this rule.
- Effective immediately, nursing home/long-term care facilities may not allow visitors.
- Effective at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17 any restaurant, bar, brewery, or establishment that offers food or drink may not permit on-site consumption of food or drink for one week.
- These establishments may continue offering food for take-out or delivery
During a press conference to discuss these updates on March 17, Mayor Maddox also announced City of Tuscaloosa specific updates, including:
- Cancellation of all city-permitted and -hosted events from April 6 through April 30.
- Relocation of City Incident Command to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.
- Restriction of access and entry points into City Hall.
“I realize these actions are hard, with deep consequences, and it weighs heavily on me,” Mayor Maddox said during the press conference. “But they will result in the saving of lives, reduction of sickness, and a shorter duration of fear in Tuscaloosa. This is an American moment, and Tuscaloosa will not fail. This community doesn’t know how to.”