No, grocery stores in Alabama are not closing next week.
In a week of rumors surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest social media hoax on Friday — that Gov. Kay Ivey would order closed all Alabama businesses, including grocery stores, next week — sent shoppers around the state cramming into supermarkets on Friday night.
Despite these rumors, the governor’s office confirmed to APR late Friday that there is zero truth to them. In fact, Ivey’s office is making plans to put more food and essentials into Alabama stores in the coming days and weeks.
“There is absolutely no truth to that,” said Ivey’s chief of staff, Jo Bonner.
Just today, the Ivey administration increased the limits on the number of shipments made to the state.
They are encouraging all Alabamians to be cautious and only go out when necessary, but the administration is not imposing any type of order on essential services or grocery store access, despite the rumors.
There are no plans to lock down completely. And there never have been. No matter what restrictions are imposed, you will still be able to go to grocery stores, Alabama State Health Officer Scott Harris and EMA director Brian Hastings said earlier this week.
Even in the places with the most extreme restrictions — like Italy, California and New York — grocery stores and other essential businesses have never been closed.
Harris and Hastings urged Alabamians not to panic buy food.
“Remember to be prepared,” Harris said. “But there’s no advantage to being over-prepared. There is no shortage of food. There’s no shortage of things other than temporarily for paper products, as we all know about but we have no concerns or issues that people won’t be able to access food if they need it. I would say in any type of closure activity throughout the world grocery stores have been exempted from that. And it would be no different, you know, in this state as well, grocery stores have to remain open because people have to be able to access that food.”
Ivey’s office encouraged citizens to stay home and as isolated as possible.
Ivey has taken a number of steps to reduce crowds, including closing public beaches and forcing restaurant dining areas to close, but there is no plan to prevent citizens from obtaining necessities.