Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Officials in Alabama, US, to maintain COVID-19 safer-at-home orders through at least Aug. 31. Business and transport disruptions ongoing.

  • Alert Begins: 30 Jul 2020 07:52 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Alabama (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least Aug. 31
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions

Summary
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey extended the state's safer-at-home orders through at least Aug. 31 as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The order amends the face mask requirement, where all residents must wear a protective face mask whenever social-distancing measures cannot be maintained, to include students and employees in schools and colleges.

Restrictions from the safer-at-home orders continue to be in place. All businesses must enhance sanitation procedures, ensure social distancing measures, provide protective equipment to employees, and encourage work from home whenever possible. Retail stores, entertainment venues (including theaters, cinemas, arcades, and bowling alleys), and athletic facilities (including fitness centers, commercial gyms, and spas) must limit their maximum capacity at 50 percent. Officials will restrict alcohol sales nightly after 2300 in bars and restaurants from Aug. 1. Nonwork-related gatherings remain banned if participants cannot maintain proper distancing; all residents are encouraged to maintain at least 1.8 meters (six feet) from people outside of their households.

Transport and business disruptions are likely to persist even as commercial activity resumes. All measures are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
Several states in the US have implemented recovery plans to lift restrictive measures introduced in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, previously relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Confirm appointments. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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