ADPH: More Closings and Restrictions as More COVID-19 Cases Confirmed
The Alabama Department of Public Health is announcing new guidelines and closures, as officials confirmed that 36 Alabamians have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of Tuesday Morning.
At an ADPH press conference, state health officer Dr. Scott Harris announced that the list of mandated school closures now includes all private schools, Pre-K and most day cares – with the exception is for on-site child care facilities at hospitals. The latest closures are in addition to public schools which were announced by Gov. Kay Ivey last week.
Senior living facilities are now limiting visitors, according to ADPH recommendations and guidelines as most senior activity centers have closed for next several weeks.
In Jefferson County alone there were 20 confirmed cases Tuesday morning, the most in the state. Harris explained that numbers appear significantly higher in the Birmingham area, because that’s where testing has been more readily available.
Monday, Jefferson County officials mandated all restaurants, bars and breweries to offer take-out only with very few exceptions to limit person-to-person contact. The mandate applies to a handful of surrounding counties including: Tuscaloosa, Walker, Blount, St. Clair, and Shelby Counties for at least a week, Harriss said.
“We’re going to be issuing orders that are identical or very similar to that” in other counties Harris said, although these restrictions are only strongly recommended for counties with less confirmed cases right now. Health officials will evaluate whether the one-week restriction will need to be extended.
In addition to the mandated social distancing, officials are still urging people to avoid large gatherings. There have been recommendations to avoid gatherings as small as 10 people, as President Trump said Monday — and up to 50 people, as advised by ADPH officials. Harris clarified that while staying away from crowds all-together is ideal, its most important to try and stay at least 6 feet away from others when possible.
Health officials are constantly urging frequent hand washing, disinfecting your work-space. staying home if you’re feeling sick and checking on those that are most vulnerable right now.
As promised by ADPH officials last week, more coronavirus testing sites are popping across the state. There are 6 sites that are open and staffed as of Tuesday including:
To find a testing site near you, or for its hours of operation, call the Alabama COVID-19 24/7 hotline at 1-888-264-2256.
State health officials said they plan to open at least 20 sites state-wide. Tuesday officials said there would be between 5-10 more, staffed and stocked by the end of the week.