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Jefferson County closes nonessential business, further limits gatherings

The Jefferson County Department of Health on Thursday issued another executive public health order closing all nonessential businesses and further limiting gatherings of people to less than 10.

“As cases have continued to increase in Jefferson County, we must take additional bold action to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Mark Wilson, Jefferson County’s health officer.

Wilson’s order is effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20.

“We are trying to protect those essential services that are essential for health, for safety and for the sustenance of life,” Wilson said.

The order prohibits gatherings of 10 people or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between people. The new restrictions in Jefferson County are similar to, but more restrictive than, the order Gov. Kay Ivey and Dr. Scott Harris announced for the entire state Thursday.

Statewide, bars and restaurants are limited to take out and delivery. The same applies in Jefferson county. The statewide order limits gatherings of less than 25 people.

In Jefferson County, as the total of cases continue to tick up, all senior citizen centers remain closed and all nursing homes have limited visitation. Preschools, childcare centers and schools are also closed. Hospitals have also prohibited visitors except for certain compassionate care situations such as end-of-life.

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Elective dental and medical procedures are also delayed.

Non-essential business includes:

  • Entertainment, including night clubs, bowling alleys, arcades, racetracks, indoor children’s play places, pool halls, adult gaming and entertainment venues
  • Recreation facilities, including gyms and fitness centers, swimming pools and spas, excluding licensed physical therapy services
  • Nail salons and spas
  • Casinos
  • Concert venues and auditoriums
  • Theaters
  • Tourist attractions (including museums, planetariums, parades)
  • Body art facilities and tattoo services
  • Tanning salons
  • Massage parlors
  • Waxing salons/threading salons
  • Museums and Galleries
  • Performing Arts centers/events/rehearsals
  • Social clubs
  • Fraternity and Sorority meetings and events
  • Proms, Formals and other similar events
Written By

Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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