Alabama - COVID-19 Covered

Alabama

Total Cases: 18,630 (June 2)
Tests Administered: 223,523 (June 1)
Fatalities: 646 (June 2)
Testing:
  • Alabama is reportedly one of the first states to commit publicly to using Apple and Google’s contact tracing technology in statewide apps meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. (May 20)
  • Governor Ivey announced the launch of new COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites in Adamsville and Montgomery. (April 16)
  • According to Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, “Testing continues to be a concern for us […] One of our continuing problems is locating specimen collection kits.” (March 23)
  • According to AL DPH, “Any person that a physician determines should be tested qualifies for testing. We are recommending that those at the highest risk seek testing for COVID-19.” (March 18)
  • To be tested, individuals who suspect they may have the virus are asked to contact their primary healthcare provider. (March 16) Those who do not have a healthcare provider can call a hotline set up by the department. (March 18)
  • COVID-19 testing is available through the Alabama Department of Public Health (AL DPH) state laboratory or at private testing facilities in various locations. (March 16)
  • The State Legislature has appropriated $5 million for roughly 20 to 25 screening centers across the state. (February 6) There are also private testing facilities in various locations. (March 16)

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Ivey issued a supplemental proclamation directing the Board of Pardons and Paroles to resume parole hearings. (April 13)
  • Governor Ivey has ordered all non-essential businesses, venues and activities to close, including entertainment venues (such as night clubs, bowling alleys, arcades), athletic facilities and activities (such as gyms, spas, spectator sports), non-essential “close-contact” service establishments (such as barbershops, salons, massage services), and non-essential retail stores (such as furniture stores, clothing stores, sporting goods stores). These businesses will remain closed until April 17. (March 27)
  • Jefferson County has issued an order closing all non-essential businesses and services due to the risk of infection, including recreation facilities, nail salons and spas, casinos, concert venues, theaters, tourist attractions, tattoo parlors, tanning salons, massage parlors, performing arts centers, and social clubs. (March 23)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Alabama has ordered the closure of beaches and on-site dining in restaurants. All elective dental and medical procedures were also postponed, effective March 20, and employers are required to “take all reasonable steps” to meet social distancing standards (consistent six-foot distance between persons) for employees and customers. (March 20)
  • According to a spokesperson for Governor Kay Ivey, “Childcare centers may remain open and serve up to 11 children per appropriate room.” (March 20)
  • The state authorized state agency directors to allow telework and flexible work schedules for at least three weeks. (March 16)
  • The Alabama Department of Labor modified its existing unemployment compensation rules to allow workers who are affected by the COVID-19 crisis to file a claim for unemployment benefits if they meet certain criteria. (March 17)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • 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 launch of altogetheralabama.org, an online resource that will serve as a hub of information for Alabama’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 6)
  • Governor Ivey issued an executive order providing temporary relief from residential evictions and foreclosures. (April 3)
  • Governor Ivey urged small business owners to prepare for the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak by applying for federal financial relief now. (April 1)
  • 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 and the Alabama Department of Revenue announced the state individual income tax filing due date would be extended to July 15. According to the Department, taxpayers will also be able to defer state income tax payments “without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.” (March 23) She also gave the state’s Commissioner of Revenue the authority to waive interest for any tax payment due in connection with a tax return due on or after March 15. (March 23)
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved the State of Alabama’s request for a Medicaid waiver, which will enable the state’s Medicaid program to be more flexible in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment. (March 23)
  • 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 issued her eighth Supplemental State of Emergency, providing liability protections for some businesses, among other provisions. (May 8)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Governor Ivey issued a proclamation postponing the due date for the payment of several state business taxes until July 15, including the corporate income tax, the financial institutions excise tax, and the business privilege tax. (March 23)
  • Governor Ivey has announced small businesses are eligible to assistance under the US Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. (March 21)
  • The Alabama Department of Revenue has said small retail businesses, including restaurants and bars, will have more time to pay their February, March and April 2020 state sales tax liabilities. Late payment penalties will also be waived for those taxpayers through June 1. (March 19)
  • Small retailers whose monthly retail sales during the previous calendar year “averaged $62,500 or less may file their monthly sales tax returns for those three months without paying the state sales tax reported as due.” (March 19)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • 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)
  • Governor Ivey issued an amendment to her “Safer at Home” order, allowing restaurants, bars, gyms, salons, and churches to reopen with certain restrictions on May 11. (May 8)
  • Several Alabama county sheriffs have reportedly said they will not enforce Governor Ivey’s “Safer at Home” order. (May 4)
  • Retail stores and beaches in Alabama were allowed to reopen with occupancy limits after the state’s stay-at-home order expired on April 30. (May 1)
  • Governor Ivey announced a new “Safer at Home” order, replacing her previous stay-at-home order that will be allowed to expire on April 30. The new order calls for a phased-in approach to reopening the state’s economy and will allow certain lower-risk businesses to open subject to sanitation and social-distancing guidelines. (April 28)
  • Governor Ivey said she would not remove Alabama’s COVID-19 restrictions before the original April 30 date she set earlier this month. (April 21)
  • Governor Ivey said the stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines are working in Alabama and she is gathering recommendations on how to lift restrictions on the state’s economy. (April 14)
  • Governor Ivey issued an emergency order temporarily suspending state restrictions imposed because of COVID-19 if those restrictions could interfere with public safety after a series of strong storms rolled through the South. (April 12)
  • Alabama Lieutenant Governor Ainsworth announced that he will lead a task force that will assess when to reopen the Alabama economy. The committee is made up legislators and prominent businesspeople. (April 9)
  • Governor Ivey issued a statewide stay-at-home order, which will be in effect through 5pm on April 30. (April 3)
  • Governor Ivey has encouraged people to stay in their homes and avoid social gatherings. (March 30)
  • Governor Ivey stated she is not currently considering a statewide shelter-in-place order, but left open the possibility if the COVID-19 pandemic spreads rapidly. (March 25)
  • The Birmingham City Council approved a shelter-in-place order for the city through April 3. The order was passed March 24 and went into effect immediately. (March 25)

Curfews:

  • No records found.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • Governor Ivey announced all non-work related gatherings of 10 people or more, or non-work related gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons, would no longer be permitted. (March 27)
  • Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall reportedly told state law enforcement agencies they have the authority to issue fines of up to $500 to those who refuse to comply with social-distancing guidelines. (March 22)

Delivery Services

  • On-premise consumption of food or drink has been prohibited at all restaurants, bars, breweries or similar establishments. Take-out or delivery options are still permitted provided the social distancing protocols are followed. (March 20)

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • Governor Ivey announced that students in grades 7 to 12 can go back into the classroom for summer school programs starting 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)
  • Governor Ivey announced schools would remain closed past their original closure date of April 6 and would be required to implement alternative learning practices for the remainder of the school year. (March 26)

State Higher Education:

  • Several universities across the state have reportedly told students to move out of residence halls and prepare to finish the semester through remote instruction. (March 18)

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