Several businesses will close Saturday and remain closed until April 17, following a statewide emergency health order issued by Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday.
The order shuts down four categories of businesses, beginning Saturday at 5 p.m., according to State Health Officer Scott Harris.
The four categories include:
- Non-essential retail stores, including furniture and home furnishing stores; clothing, shoe and accessory stores; jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores; department stores; book, craft and music stores; and sporting goods stores. Gun stores are not affected by the order.
- Non-essential "close-contact" service establishments, which include barbershops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons and spas, body-art facilities, tattoo services, tanning salons, massage therapy establishments and massage services.
- Entertainment venues, including night clubs, bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, theatres, auditoriums, performing arts centers, tourist attractions (including museums), race tracks, indoor children's play areas, adult entertainment venues, casinos, bingo halls, and venues operated by social clubs.
- Athletic facilities and activities, including fitness centers and commercial gyms; spas; public or commercial swimming pools; yoga, barre or spin facilities; spectator sports; sports that involve interaction with another person closer than 6 feet; activities that require sharing of sporting apparatus or equipment; activities on commercial or public playground equipment.
Also, effective beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, all non-work related gatherings of 10 people or more, or non-work related gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent 6-foot distance between persons, are prohibited according to the health order.
On Thursday, Ivey also announced that schools would not reopen facilities on April 6; however, students will continue their academic instruction at home. Local superintendents will begin issuing instructional plans for K-12 students before the resume date.
Lawrence County Superintendent Jon Bret Smith said the school system plans to integrate virtual learning and paper instruction to accommodate students without internet access at home.
He said paper packets will be available for pickup at students' schools or may be delivered by bus. Smith said issuance of personal items and textbooks, and the return of books checked out of school libraries, still need to be addressed.
Since last Monday, Ivey has also postponed Alabama's run-off election until July 14, and the state tax-filing date was moved to the new federal filing date of July 15.
"You've heard me say, we aren't California; we are not New York, but Grove Hill is not Gadsden, and Decatur is not Dothan. That's why I support our mayors throughout the state who feel they need to take additional steps if their situation on the ground warrants it," she said in her address on Friday. "I do believe limiting social gatherings as much as possible will be the best way we can combat coronavirus. If people want to do more individually by imposing your own shelter-in-place, you don't need my permission to do so."
Following her address, Ivey urged all Alabama residents to stay home and remain isolated as much as possible.