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Alabama health officials urge restaurants, churches to limit capacity, events

The Alabama Department of Public Health on Monday issued more restrictive guidance, cautioning against gatherings of more than 50 people and none if a person cannot stay at least 6 feet from others.

The new recommendations also included a suggestion that the public should consider canceling or delaying out-of-state travel plans.

The department’s recommendations come as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to mount across the state. As of Monday morning there were 22 confirmed cases, with 12 in Jefferson County.

The Alabama Department of Public Health’s recommendations are:

  • 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 business, including restaurants, limit patronage at any one time to 50% 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 or conduct online services.

While workplaces should attempt to heed to these recommendations whenever possible, it is understood that exceptions may be needed for essential government functions, municipal and state legislative bodies, and health care facilities including clinics, hospitals and pharmacies. Consider using means for electronic or video meetings in workplaces 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.
Eddie Burkhalter
Written By

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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