Auburn Villager

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a health order on Friday that closes down many non-essential business in the state as confirmed cases of Covid-19 continue to rise. 

As of noon on Friday, Alabama has reported 571 cases of coronavirus statewide, with Lee County reporting 47 cases.

The order, which goes into effect at 5 p.m. Saturday, closes non-essential businesses and venues to non-employees or shuts them down altogether through April 17. 

"I cannot stress to you enough that we must be serious about eliminating the spread of this deadly virus. Folks, this is real. This is very real," said Ivey at a news conference Friday morning. "We must protect the people of Alabama.

"Folks, this is incredibly disappointing news to deliver, but this is a matter of life and death."

The list of affected businesses includes:

a. Entertainment venues as follows: night clubs, bowling alleys. arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, and performing arts centers, tourist attractions (including museums and planetariums), racetracks, indoor children’s play areas, adult entertainment venues, casinos, bingo halls, and venues operated by social clubs  
 
b. Athletic facilities and activities as follows: fitness centers and commercial gyms, spas and public or commercial swimming pools, yoga, barre, and spin facilities, spectator sports, sports that involve interaction with another person of closer than 6 feet, activities that require use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment, activities on commercial or public playground equipment
 
c. Close-contact service providers as follows: barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons and spas, body-art facilities and tattoo services, tanning salons, and massage-therapy establishments and massage services 
 
d. Retail stores as follows: furniture and home-furnishings stores, clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores, jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores, department stores, sporting goods stores, book, craft, and music stores.
 
The order also further restricts gatherings, prohibiting all non-work related gatherings of 10 or more persons, or non-work related gatherings of any size, that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons.
 
On Thursday, Ivey announced that public and private schools, grades K-12, would be closed for the rest of the academic school year and school districts would shift toward remote instruction. 

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