JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — On Monday afternoon, the Jefferson County Department of Public Health provided an important and “time-sensitive” update on COVID-19.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, there are 29 confirmed cases in the state. Health experts say 17 of those cases are confirmed in Jefferson County.

Due to the rapid and massive spread of the coronavirus in Jefferson County, Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson said that there was a community spread that needs to be immediately stopped. In an effort to combat the rapidly growing spread of the coronavirus in the county as well as the state of Alabama, health experts have announced several executive orders.

Wilson said that starting Tuesday, the following executive orders will go into effect:

  • All senior citizen gathering locations will be closed. The seniors will still receive food delivery services if available in their area.
  • All nursing home facilities will prohibit visitations except for compassionate situations such as an end of life.
  • All private schools K-12, preschools, and daycares with 12 or more children will be closed until April 6. Health experts say after April 6, the decision when to reopen will be determined at that time.
  • Starting Tuesday, any restaurant that offers food or drink, will not provide on-premises dining for a week. Curbside picks up, delivery and online ordering will only be allowed.

Health officials say if these steps are not taken, the coronavirus will continue to spread and will double and increase rapidly within the county and state.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway said his staff would also be stepping in to make sure that these executives orders are in place. According to Jefferson County Chief Deputy Agee, officers and deputies will still be able to still serve the community.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s office said that citizens can use their online app to still do things needed within the county, such as purchase firearms and report crimes.

Also while Jefferson County personnel continues to help the citizens, the officers and deputies will be wearing protective gear to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

For more information regarding the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office visit their website.

For more details visit on the executive orders that are said to be start Tuesday, March 17, visit the Jefferson County Department of Public Health website.

To see the details of the State of Emergency issued for the city of Birmingham by Mayor Woodfin, watch here.

And to see the Monday morning update from the Alabama Department of Public Health health watch here.