Alabama - COVID-19 Covered

Alabama

Total Cases: 256,828 (December 3)
Tests Administered: 1,647,179 (December 2)
Fatalities: 3,711 (December 3)
Testing:
  • Information on COVID-19 testing in Alabama can be found here. 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • According to an executive order issued by Governor Ivey, the following businesses and services are considered to be essential (April 3):
    • Government Operations and Public Services (such as first responders and emergency services, law enforcement, the courts, child services, sanitation)
    • Healthcare Providers (such as physicians, dentists, mental health workers, nursing homes)
    • Infrastructure Operations (such as utilities, gas stations, airports, transit)
    • Manufacturing Facilities (such as food processing, pharmaceutical companies)
    • Agricultural Operations and Farms
    • Retailers (such as supermarkets, liquor stores, gun stores)
    • Restaurants and Bars
    • Personal Services (such as trash collection, mail, shipping services)
    • Media Operations (such as newspapers, television, radio)
    • Education Operations (such as public and private schools; colleges and universities)
    • Financial Services (such as banks, credit unions, payday lenders)
    • Professional Services (such as lawyers, accountants, real estate)
    • Religious and Charitable Organizations
    • Construction

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • The state ordered employers to “take all reasonable steps” to meet social distancing standards (consistent six-foot distance between persons) for employees and customers. (March 20)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Ivey awarded nearly $19.4 million to more than 60 communities in Alabama. (November 23) 
  • Governor Ivey announced Revive Plus, a $200 million-dollar grant program to support small businesses, non-profits, and faith-based organizations in Alabama that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Revive Plus is the second wave of funding for these organizations with 50 or fewer employees and will award grants of up to $20,000 for expenses they have incurred due to operational interruptions caused by the pandemic and related business closures. (November 18) 
  • Governor Ivey on Tuesday announced that Alabama has been awarded $17.8 million to provide opportunities for Alabama workers that have been displaced by COVID-19 to develop new skills in high-demand industries. (September 29) 
  • Governor Ivey awarded $35 million in CARES Act funds to establish the Alabama Health Care and Emergency Response Providers grant program. (September 24) 
  • Governor Ivey awarded $10 million of CARES Act funding to support the revitalization of Alabama’s tourism industry. (September 14) 
  • Alabama is applying for the new federal unemployment program that will increase UI benefits by $300/week. (August 19) 
  • Governor Ivey announced a Broadband Working Group to gather input and provide guidance on the allocation of CARES Act money in Alabama. (June 25) 
  • Alabama has reportedly begun cutting unemployment for those who are “refusing” to return to their jobs. (June 24) 
  • Governor Ivey issued her ninth Supplemental State of Emergency, providing protection against evictions based on nonpayment, among other provisions. (May 8) 
  • Governor Ivey announced the state would waive work search, wait week, and good cause provisions for unemployment claims, as well as all charges against employers who file partial unemployment compensation claims on behalf of their employees, until further notice. (March 26) 
  • Governor Ivey included a provision in her state of emergency declaration that would prohibit price gouging on the sale or rental of any commodity or facility. (March 12) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Ivey announced a $26 million allocation of CARES Act funding to the Alabama Agriculture Stabilization Program. (August 12) 
  • Governor Ivey announced a $50 million grant program to support nonprofit and faith-based organizations that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 6) 
  • Governor Ivey announced a $100 million-dollar “Revive Alabama” program that will provide grants to small businesses across the state. (July 9) 
  • Governor Ivey issued her ninth Supplemental State of Emergency providing operating loans and lines of credit financing to rural electric cooperatives, among other provisions. (May 8) 
  • Governor Ivey issued her eighth Supplemental State of Emergency, providing liability protections for some businesses, among other provisions. (May 8) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Ivey issued her nineteenth supplemental emergency proclamation containing an amended Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This amended order extends until Friday, December 11 at 5:00PM. (November 5) 
  • Alabama’s lieutenant governor tested positive for the coronavirus. (October 23) 
  • Governor Ivey issued her eighteenth supplemental emergency proclamation containing an amended Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people. (September 28) 
  • Governor Ivey issued her 17th Supplemental Safer at Home order, extending the statewide mask mandate until October 2. (August 27) 
  • Governor Ivey issued an emergency proclamation to help cities and towns line up enough poll workers for the upcoming municipal elections. (August 21) 
  • Alabama will not require voters to wear masks to the polls for the upcoming election. (August 18) 
  • The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board voted on Monday to order all restaurants and bars to stop serving alcohol at 11:00 PM, even if they stay open beyond that time. (July 27) 
  • Governor Ivey extended Alabama’s State of Emergency through September 9. (July 2) 
  • Governor Ivey issued her 12th Supplemental State of Emergency, extending Alabama’s Safer at Home order until July 31. The order requires entertainment venues, gyms, childcare facilities, and close-contact service providers to follow social distancing guidelines and sanitation rules, which require individuals to wear masks in most cases. Retail stores will also be permitted to open with 50 percent capacity. (June 30) 
  • Governor Ivey announced more changes to COVID-19-related orders, allowing businesses including arcades, theaters, and bowling alleys, as well as childcare facilities (without limitations on numbers) and summer camps, to reopen on May 22. Athletic activities such as practices, drills, and conditioning can restart on May 23, with competitions allowed to resume on June 15. Additionally, education institutions can reopen June 1(May 21) 
  • Lieutenant Governor Ainsworth and the state’s Small Business Emergency Task Force announced its plan to reopen Alabama’s economy. The plan, titled, “Reopen Alabama Responsibly: Phase One,” covers several aspects of the state’s economy, including the retail industry, restaurant industry, close contact services, medical and health services, manufacturing, real estate, entertainment, and recreation. (April 17) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Ivey issues statement urging school systems to return for in-person learning. (December 1) 
  • High schools across Alabama are limiting the number of spectators allowed at high school sports this fall. (August 16) 
  • The Alabama High School Athletic Association said spectators will be allowed to attend football games and other athletic events, but attendance likely will be significantly reduced. (August 7) 
  • Schools in Alabama will be permitted to reopen this fall, but students in the 2nd grade and above will be required to wear facial coverings while in school. (July 29) 
  • State Superintendent Eric Mackey announced that all Alabama public schools are set to reopen on time unless local school boards or the governor chooses otherwise. (June 26) 
  • Governor Ivey announced that students in grades 7 to 12 can go back into the classroom for summer school programs starting on June 1. (May 21) 
  • State School Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey’s phased-reopening plan reportedly calls for distance learning for the remainder of the school year, but will possibly allow students 13 years of age and older to return to campuses in groups of 10 or less on June 8. In July, the plan would possibly allow younger students to attend in-person reading programs under the same guidelines. (May 4) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Alabama colleges and universities planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • Governor Ivey awarded $72.34 million of the Coronavirus Relief Fund for higher education institutions to support the purchase of technology and infrastructure related to remote instruction and distance learning. (September 10) 
  • The University of Alabama and Auburn University both released plans that will limit capacity to 20 percent for all college football games this fall. (August 20) 
  • The University of Alabama released new guidanceincluding disciplinary action for violating protocolsas students prepare to return to campus. (August 12) 
  • The University of Alabama set aside 450 beds in empty dorm rooms and apartments near campus to isolate students who test positive for COVID-19 after returning to campus. (August 6) 
  • Alabama released its plan to test more than 200,000 college students for COVID-19 before permitting them onto campuses this fall. (July 27) 
  • The University of Alabama System plans to reopen campuses for the Fall semesterSeveral measures will reportedly be taken to ensure student safety affecting various aspects of campus life, including COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, PPE, housing, athletics, plans for isolation and quarantine should an outbreak occur, classroom instruction, recreation, sanitation, and Greek life. (June 9)  

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com