Are quarantine restrictions possible in Alabama during the COVID-19 pandemic?


BIRMINGHAM, Ala., (WIAT) — There are some fears that Alabama could see some increased restrictions when it comes to quarantining oneself from the COVID-19 outbreak.

New York City is considering a “Shelter in Place” order. Similar to the statewide mandate in the San Francisco bay area. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said his city has more than 800 COVID-19 cases and he could make such an order within 48 hours.

Yet concern is growing by the day, about how long any measure will last.

“You see the tornado, you know where the tornado is,” Jefferson County EMA Director Jim Coker said. “You know where the damage path is.” ​

Coker knows firsthand when severe weather strikes, but he’s now faced with a new challenge.

“This event, we know it’s there, but we can’t see it,” Coker said. “We know there’s a damage path, but we don’t know where it is.” ​

Over three dozen people across Alabama are now under quarantine as a precaution after traveling to high-risk places or coming into contact with someone’s who’s been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Coker said the Jefferson County EMA joined a joint information center which is now active and said to follow reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ​

New guidelines were issued for certain counties in Alabama to prevent the spread for those who aren’t quarantined.

“It is time for Alabamians to hunker down, isolate themselves to stay away from other people,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “It is time to stay out of the public.”​

Harris said everyone in the state has the ability to keep themselves safe and to keep their families safe. However, as fears continue to mount over the worldwide spread of the new strain of coronavirus, Coker said there are new ways to combat the deadly disease that are being discovered through joint efforts from Jefferson County commissioners, the health department and the city of Birmingham.

“We’re all speaking with the same voice,” Coker said. “We’re all pushing out information that is vital for you.”

To receive more information on COVID-19 and how officials in Birmingham are responding to it, text “BHMCOVID” to 888-777.


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