See the menu at the top of the PARCA homepage: Updated information available at PARCA’s Coronavirus Resource page
Responding to the spread of Cornavirus, Alabama’s State Health Officer ordered Tuesday that in Jefferson and surrounding counties, public gatherings of 25 people or more are prohibited until further notice, and restaurants have been ordered to cease on-site dining operations.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), the state had 39 confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, as of Tuesday, March 17, at 3:30 p.m. Jefferson County had the highest number of cases with 21. (For updates, PARCA has established a PARCA’s Coronavirus Resource page, updated tallies are available directly from ADPH here. And AL.com has established a Coronavirus update page for breaking news).
Following the lead of Jefferson County Health Officer Mark Wilson, on Tuesday Scott Harris, Alabama’s State Health Officer, has ordered the curtailment of certain activities in the counties surrounding Jefferson.
Wilson on Monday said evidence indicates the virus is now spreading in the Jefferson County community. Wilson ordered that bars and restaurants cease offering on-premise dining, that daycares and private schools close, and that senior residential facilities take additional steps to restrict visitation and mingling within the facility. Gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited. State officials said Tuesday that those same orders are being extended to Tuscaloosa, Blount, Walker, Shelby, and St. Clair Counties. Text of the state order is here.
In support of the work of the government and health care professionals involved in the Coronavirus containment effort, PARCA plans to gather and share information and resources on a daily basis as the situation unfolds. Check back on our PARCA’s Coronavirus Resource page for updates.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (as of March 17) has not yet ordered restrictions in the rest of the state. However, they strongly recommend that people statewide take steps to limit the spread. Those include:
- No mass gatherings of 50 persons or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between participants. This may include festivals, parades, assemblies, or sporting events.
- Senior adults or those with chronic health problems should avoid gatherings (outside of close family) of 10 or more persons, and should avoid travel by air, train or bus.
- For retail businesses, including restaurants, limit patronage at any one time to 50% of the normally allowable capacity. Restaurants should maintain a six-foot distance between tables.
- Public buildings should consider whether visitation may be limited. Hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are encouraged to implement visitation policies that protect vulnerable persons.
- All persons should consider whether out-of-state travel plans may be delayed or canceled.
- Participants in religious services or events, weddings, funerals, and family events should exercise prudence and maintain consistent six-foot distance between participants if possible.
For individuals and families, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and in public maintain a six-foot distance from others. Work from home if possible, and, if sick, stay home.
If You Feel You Need Testing for the Virus
If you suspect you have contracted COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, the Alabama Department of Health asks that you contact your health care provider to arrange for testing.
For those without a regular provider, call 1-888-264-2256 to find out about testing in your area.
For Travelers Returning from Affected Geographic Areas
If you recently traveled to one of these affected geographic areas within the last 14 days, visit the CDC’s page of COVID-19 Resources for Travelers. If a person has questions about being tested for COVID-19, with or without any travel history, visit COVID-19 Testing.
The Alabama Department of Public Health is posting its news conferences on the virus, including the most recent on March 17.
ADPH also provides links to local county health departments. As of yet, there is not a comprehensive list of testing sites.
Check back on PARCA’s Coronavirus Resource page for information updates.