Coronavirus Safer at Home Order
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) announced its Safer at Home statewide coronavirus emergency health order, which took effect May 22, has been extended to expire on July 31 at 5 p.m.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and Governor Kay Ivey caution residents to take personal responsibility in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Distancing 6 feet or more, frequent sanitation, and wearing face covers in public are simple steps to keep the public safe and protect the most vulnerable people in our society.
Spanish Version – coming soon
What You Need to Know
Under the Stay at Home health order, individuals are encouraged to exercise personal responsibility but are not ordered to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Public places are to take reasonable steps to maintain six feet of separation between persons, and disinfect frequently used items and surfaces. Gatherings must maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons from different households.
Athletic facilities, such as fitness centers and commercial gyms, may open subject to distancing and sanitation protocols. Team activities, including youth sports, may proceed with limitations.
View the ADPH Guidelines for Youth Sports.
Public and privately-owned Gulf of Mexico beaches are open. Patrons must maintain a consistent 6-foot distance between persons from different households.
CHILD CARE FACILITIES
Child day care facilities may open subject to distancing and sanitation protocols.
View the ADPH Guidelines for Childcare Facilities.
Effective June 1, 2020, all schools, public and private— including elementary, secondary, postsecondary, technical, and specialty schools, and colleges and universities—shall comply with ADPH guidelines.
Employers are also to maintain six feet of separation between persons as work duties permit, consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Employers are to facilitate remote working arrangements where practicable, minimize employee travel, and otherwise follow guidance from the CDC concerning ways to reduce transmission among employees to maintain healthy business operations, and to maintain a healthy work environment.
Entertainment venues shall comply with the rules for 6-foot distancing, 50% occupancy limits, employee face coverings, and additional sanitation guidelines. Entertainment venue includes blowing alleys, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing centers, tourist attractions (including museums and planetariums, race tracks, commercial or public playgrounds, adult entertainment venues, casinos, and bingo halls. It does not include playgrounds for day care facilities and schools nor does entertainment include night clubs. Please see Health Order for more information.
Effective with the new order, dental, medical or surgical procedures are allowed unless the State Health Officer or his designee determines that performing such procedures would unacceptably reduce access to personal protective equipment or other resources needed to diagnose and treat COVID-19.
PERSONAL AND CLOSE-CONTACT SERVICES
Barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo services, etc., may open subject to distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines. These recommendations have been developed by industry infection control experts in conjunction with the recommendations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Guidelines for Disinfecting Your Facility.
PLACES OF WORSHIP/FUNERALS
Disease Control and Prevention, the following are the minimum recommended health practices for all churches, congregations, and places of worship in Alabama. Churches, congregations, and places of worship may adopt additional protocols consistent with their specific needs and circumstances to help protect the health and safety of all employees, volunteers and congregants. The same minimum recommended health practices apply to funeral services, burials and memorials.
View the ADPH Guidelines for Places of Worship.
RESTAURANTS, BARS, BREWERIES & NIGHTCLUBS
For on-premises consumption of food or drink, establishments must limit the party size at tables to no more than eight persons and maintain at least six feet of separation between people seated at different tables, booths, chairs, or stools.
All retail stores may open with the following rules:
- Occupancy is limited to no more than 50 percent of normal occupancy as determined by the fire marshal. Staff is to be posted at entrances and exits for enforcement.
- Employees may not knowingly allow customers or patrons to congregate within 6 feet of one another.
- Retailers must comply with sanitation guidelines.
Day and overnight youth summer camps may open subject to distancing and sanitation protocols.
View the ADPH Guidelines for Youth Camps.
Under the order, individuals, especially vulnerable persons, continue to be encouraged to exercise personal responsibility in slowing the spread of COVID-19 by staying home and following good sanitation practices. These include:
- Minimizing travel outside the home, especially if sick;
- Wearing face coverings around people from other households when it is necessary to leave the home;
- Washing hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces;
- Refraining from touching one’s face;
- Sneezing or coughing into a tissue, or the inside of one’s elbow; and
- Disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
The people most vulnerable to COVID-19 are elderly individuals (persons over 65 in age) or individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.
EXPOSURE AND QUARANTINE
Any persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 other than the institutionalized are to be quarantined to their residence for 14 days, or other period of time as directed by the state health officer or his designee, after receiving positive test results. Quarantined persons may not leave their residence for any reason other than to seek necessary medical treatment.
Fines for each violation of the health order are up to $500.
ADPH encourages the public to keep informed by visiting alabamapublichealth.gov. The ADPH toll-free hotline and e-mail address are as follows:
- COVID-19 General Information – 800-270-7268
Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily, and a language line is available for people who do not speak English.
- The COVID-19 General Information Email address – email@example.com
In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation statewide at 888-264-2256. No medical advice is provided on this line.