Kay Ivey closes non-essential businesses statewide through April 17

Kay Ivey

Friday morning the state of Alabama ordered all “nonessential” businesses to close until April 17 in order to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), becoming the latest in a growing number of states to order similar closures.

Gov. Kay Ivey made the announcement during a news conference after the Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed more than 580 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths statewide. There, she explained that 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, are prohibited in the Yellowhammer State.

“This decision has not been made lightly, but has been made with a tremendous amount of concern and discussion,” said Ivey. “This is incredibly disappointing news to deliver, but this is a matter of life and death.”

Ivey’s decision comes in the wake of her Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth criticizing the state’s response to the virus. On Wednesday, Ainsworth sent a memo to Alabama’s COVID-19 Response Team in which he explained he does not believe the task force has taken a “realistic review” of what lies ahead and “doubts” the state’s preparations.

The closures are scheduled to take effect on Saturday, March 28 at 5 p.m.