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Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide public health order Thursday afternoon to aid in Alabama’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The restrictions including the following:

  • Gatherings of 25 persons or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a 6-foot distance between persons, are prohibited. It applies to all events and activities that bring 25 or more people in a single room or single space at one time.
  • Restaurants, bars, brewery or similar establishments are restricted from permitting on-premise consumption of food and drink effective 5 p.m. Thursday. Ivey still encourages residents to visit local eateries for takeout and delivery but to main social distancing practices.
  • All beaches will be closed effective at 5 p.m. Thursday. “Beach” means 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.
  • Effective immediately, all hospitals and nursing homes/long-term care facilities, including assisted living facilities, shall prohibit all visitors and non-essential health care personnel. The only exceptions are to compassionate care situations such as maternity and end-of-life.
  • Effectively immediately, all elective dental and medical procedures shall be delayed.

“Despite our best efforts, the threat of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread and, unfortunately, we have not yet reached peak impact,” Ivey said in a statement. “The decision to place regulations upon Alabamians living in Jefferson County and its surrounding counties was an effort to contain the area in which the virus has been prevalent in our state.

“As of this morning, 68 individuals have tested positive for the coronavirus in Alabama. While I am pleased that many of our citizens are self-regulating and are practicing social distancing, we want to ensure that Alabama is doing our part to flatten the curve.”