By CHIP BROWNLEE and SUSAN BRITT
All public K-12 schools, universities and community colleges are closed in the state. Childcare and daycare centers have also closed.
Alabama’s price-gouging law is in effect.
Alabamians who want to file an illegal price gouging report are encouraged to do so via the Alabama Attorney General’s Consumer Interest Division web link.
What constitutes an unconscionable price is not actually defined in the state law. Despite this, a price that is 25 percent or more above the average price charged in the same area within the last 30 days — unless the increase can be attributed to a reasonable cost in connection with the rental or sale of the commodity is considered to be a prima facie case of unconscionable pricing according to Attorney General Steve Marshall.
The penalty is a fine of up to $1,000 per violation, and those determined to have willfully and continuously violated this law may be prohibited from doing business in Alabama.
Comcast: Comcast website
Comcast is also making its Xfinity WiFi service free for everyone, regardless of whether you’re a Comcast subscriber or not. (Here’s a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots.)
Spectrum: Spectrum website
Charter said that it will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi for 60 days if that household has K-12 students or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Charter said it will open its Wi-Fi hotspots for public use. To enroll in the program, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
AT&T: AT&T website
For the next 60 days, CenturyLink said it has committed to waive late fees and to not terminate a residential or small business customer’s service due to financial circumstances associated with COVID-19
Comcast: Comcast website
Sprint has also signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and will waive fees and not terminate services if customers are unable to pay because of the coronavirus for the next 60 days. Customers with metered data plans will now receive unlimited data for 60 days. They will also receive an additional 20GB of hotspot data for the same period.
T Mobile: T-Mobile websites
Verizon: Verizon website
MD Proactice: https://www.mdproactive.com
Just Ask Doctors: https://www.justanswer.com
American Academy of Ophthalmology: https://www.aao.org
Web Eye Clinic: https://www.webeyeclinic.com/
Search for restaurant delivery in your area with Yelp. It is a free service.
Uber Eats is available as an app on your phone.
Door Dash is also available as an app on your phone.
Dollar General announced March 16 that the first hour of operations each day will be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, allowing them to avoid larger crowds and lessen the chances of infection.
Several grocery stores across the state are also doing similar senior hours.
The Alabama Department of Labor is modifying existing unemployment compensation rules to allow workers to file a claim for unemployment compensation benefits who are affected in any of the following way:
• Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency,
• Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns,
• Those who are diagnosed with COVID-19,
• Or, those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.
Workers can file for benefits online at www.labor.alabama.gov or by calling 1-866-234-5382. Online filing is encouraged. Employers who decide to shut down due to causes related to COVID-19 should treat the shutdown as a temporary layoff.
Publix is closing its stores at 8 p.m.: https://www.publix.com/shop-online
Kroger stores will open at 7 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.: https://www.kroger.com/ check for availability in your area for delivery or pickup services
Walmart’s 24-hour stores and Neighborhood Markets will operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice: https://www.walmart.com for delivery or pickup
Amazon may also deliver groceries in your area: https://www.amazon.com/
The Birmingham Business Alliance’s COVID-19 Resources for Business website as a list of key resources for small businesses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s page dedicated to COVID-19 has information on low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Business Council of Alabama Services
Combating the Coronavirus Toolkit provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce includes:
Guidance for employers to plan and respond to the Coronavirus
Workplace tips and resources for employers to combat the virus
Corporate aid tracker for details on how businesses are helping nationwide
Survey on business impact results from the American Chamber of Commerce in China
Resilience in a Box toolkit created in partnership with UPS
Additional resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Information from the U.S. Small Business Administration:
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided information on available SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) assistance. This program is designed to make economic injury assistance available to small businesses affected by the Coronavirus. SBA also shared the following contact information if you have specific questions:
For States (Alabama) and Territories in Federal Regions I-V, contact: Kem Fleming, Director of Field Operations Center East, at [email protected];
For other requests for SBA Office of Disaster Assistance HQ, contact Alejandro Contreras at [email protected]
Scholastic: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/teaching-tools/articles/resources/scholastic-learn-at-home–free-resources-for-school-closures.html and https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
National Center for Online Learning: https://www.familieslearning.org/resources/out-of-school-time
Camp Wonderopolis: https://camp.wonderopolis.org/
30 Days of Families Learning Together: http://30days.familieslearning.org/
Cultivating Readers: https://www.familieslearning.org/resources/out-of-school-time/83#nav
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-emergencies/coronavirus-school-closures/solutions
ABC Mouse: ABCmouse.com
The USDA’s Break for a Plate website allows parents to pick up free meals for their children aged 18 and under until April 6. No paperwork is required. Children must be present with a parent or guardian to receive meals. To maintain “social distancing,” meals must be picked up and not consumed on-site. (Check website to find location)
It’s All Greek To Me says they will be offering free food for children and young teens, up to 15-years-old, between 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. starting Friday, and then from Monday through Friday the following weeks.
Starting Monday, March 23, the BGC will provide free lunch service to children under 18. Though the BGC closed because of COVID-19, kids can pick up a healthy brown bag lunch and snack in the BGC parking lot at 195 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. in Ozark. Families may apply on the BGC website. Children must be with an adult. Meals will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.
Morgan County Area
Beginning, Wednesday, March 18th, MCS is providing FREE Grab-n-Go curbside meals for all Morgan County children 18 and under in response to COVID-19 school closure.
Grab-n-Go Curbside Meal Pick-up Dates:
Wednesday, March 18th from 10 am -1 pm
Monday, March 23rd from 10 am – 1pm
Meals will not be provided during Spring Break.
Grab-n-Go Curbside Meal Pick- up Sites:
Parents may choose to pick up meals from the sites listed below.
Madison County Schools started its free, grab and go meal assistance program for district students 18 and under. It’s like a drive -thru service. Riverton Elementary is one of six county schools helping out. Riverton Elementary School will continue serving lunches to kids in the community through at least the end of spring break. Each day, kids will get lunch and breakfast for the next day.
Buckhorn Family–Riverton Elementary
Hazel Green Family–Hazel Green Elementary
Madison County High School Family–Madison County Elementary
New Hope Family–New Hope Elementary
Sparkman Family–Harvest Elementary and Madison Cross Roads Elementary
Charleys in Brookwood Mall:
Homewood Bagel Company:
Morris Volunteer Fire Dept:
Vintage Comfort Food Truck
St. Clair County Schools:
Birmingham City Schools:
More Birmingham locations via WBRC 6
Kids can also eat free at Pizzeria GM in Homewood Monday- Friday during lunch hours.
The Levite Jewish Community Center will also be offering free lunches for families in need.
YMCA Chilton County:
405 Ollie Ave | Clanton, Alabama 35045
Serving free lunch for all school aged children at the Y when school is out.
ALL Hoover City Schools
*Student meals will be available at Green Valley Elementary School next week (Monday-Friday) between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. These will be drive-up, grab-and-go bagged meals. Green Valley Elementary School is located at 3200 Old Columbiana Road Hoover, AL 35226
Chicken Salad Chick is offering free kid’s meals to children 12 and under all day on Mondays until school is back in session.
Rock N Roll Sushi in Tillman’s Corner and Foley are offering free kid’s meals starting Thursday March 19th until April 3rd during weekdays.
Hoover City Schools
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools which provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.
Apply for benefits online: https://paypams.com/onlineapp.aspx
Solicitar beneficios en linea: https://paypams.com/onlineapp.aspx
Huntsville City Schools
Lee High School–2500 Meridian St.
Lakewood Elementary–3501 Kenwood Dr.
Morris Elementary/Middle–4801 Bob Wallace Rd.
Dawson Elementary–5308 Mastin Lake Rd.
Chaffee Elementary–7900 Whittier Rd.
Highlands Elementary–2500 Barney Terrace
Sonnie Hereford Elementary–2755 Wilson St.
McDonnell Elementary–4010 Binderton Pl.
Opelika High School and Carver Primary School will be serving meals Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. beginning Monday, March 23, school spokeswoman Becky Brown announced.
The meals will be provided for free to anyone 18 years old or younger regardless of which school they attend. No paperwork is required. Children must be present in order to receive the meal.
Opelika City Schools is planning on providing breakfast and lunch to students in the weeks following the school system’s spring break, Becky Brown, public relations coordinator for Opelika City Schools, told the Opelika-Auburn News.
During the school closure, Pelham City Schools will be distributing meals to children ages 18 or younger Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 20 and Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3. Meals will not be distributed March 23 through March 27 during our scheduled Spring Break.
Ready to eat lunches and breakfast meals for the next morning will be distributed in a drive thru line at Pelham Park Middle School from 10 am – 12 pm on these dates. The drive-thru distribution will take place in the bus loop at the back of the school near the cafeteria entrance. Pelham Park Middle School is located at 2016 Pelham Parkway.
Beginning Monday, March 16th, FCS Child Nutrition Department will provide meal opportunities free of charge to school-age children during the COVID-19 school closures. Meals will be available for pickup on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the following locations: Armuchee High, Model High, Pepperell High, Garden Lakes Elementary, Cave Spring Elementary, and Ridge Ferry Park.
• All gatherings of 25 persons or more are prohibited and gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons are prohibited. This Order shall apply to all gatherings, events or activities that bring 25 or more persons in a single room or single space at the same time.
• Any restaurant, bar, brewery or similar establishments shall not permit on-premise consumption of food or drink. Governor Ivey continues to encourage patrons to visit their local eateries for take-out or delivery provided the social distancing protocols include maintaining a consistent six-foot distance between persons are followed.
• All beaches will be closed effective Thursday, March 19, at 5:00 p.m. For clarification, the term “beach” means the sandy shoreline area abutting the Gulf of Mexico, whether privately or publicly owned, including beach access points.
• Preschools and childcare centers will be closed effective at close of school or business Thursday, March 19. This shall not apply to licensed childcare centers that provide services exclusively to employees with: State and Local Governments, First Responders (including EMS and Fire Services), Law Enforcement, Hospitals, Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities), End Stage Renal Disease Treatment Centers, Pharmacies and grocery stores.
• Nursing and hospital visitation home restrictions: Effective immediately, all Hospitals and Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities) shall prohibit visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations such as maternity and end-of-life.
• All elective dental and medical procedures shall be delayed, effective immediately.