ADPH offers new safety measures for public gatherings during COVID-19 outbreak


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — As coronavirus cases continue to spread in Alabama, new safety measures are being issued by the state.

Alabama remains under a State of Emergency as more coronavirus cases are confirmed.

“But I do want to remind Alabamians that you absolutely do have the power to protect yourself and to protect your family,” Dr. Scott Harris said.

Harris says the test turn around time is 24 to 72 hours.

“At this time, we have been able to test those who need to be tested,” Harris said. “As I’ve told you before, if a provider requests us to perform a test, we will do that.”

Governor Kay Ivey tweeted Wednesday that grocery stores will remain open.

“Grocery stores have to remain open because people have to be able to access that food. so just remember that routine preparedness is what we’re encouraging,” Harris said.

In response to the increasing number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Alabama, The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is making the following recommendations concerning public gatherings, food establishment and other retail venues, and businesses:

  • No mass gatherings of 50 persons or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between participants (with exceptions noted below). This may include festivals, parades, assemblies, or sporting events.  
  • Senior adults or those with chronic health problems should avoid gatherings (outside of close family) of 10 or more persons, and should avoid travel by air, train or bus.
  • For retail businesses, including restaurants, limit patronage at any one time to 50 percent of the normally allowable capacity. Restaurants should maintain a six-foot distance between tables.
  • Public buildings should consider whether visitation may be limited.  Hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are encouraged to implement visitation policies that protect vulnerable persons. 
  • All persons should consider whether out-of-state travel plans may be delayed or canceled.  
  • Participants in religious services or events, weddings, funerals and family events should exercise prudence and maintain consistent six-foot distance between participants if possible.  

ADPH continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies to provide guidance regarding COVID-19. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19, the public is urged to continue practicing social distancing and other precautionary measures, including:

  • Wash hands with soap and water.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if handwashing is not possible.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Stay away from people who are sick.

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