On Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey joined the majority of the country in issuing a stay at home order for all residents.
For those wondering where that leaves them and what they are able to do, there are a number of important exemptions outlined in the order, which goes into effect on April 4, 2020, at 5 p.m. CST.
Essential work-related activities permitted in the order:
- Work-related activities to maintain the value of a business, establishment, corporation or other organization, such as managing inventory, ensuring security, and processing payroll and employee benefits;
- Work-related activities to enable people to work or shop remotely from their residences or to allow people to buy products through drive-by, curbside, or door-to-door delivery; or
- Work-related activities that do not require any regular interaction within six feet of another person
The order does not impose a shutdown of the state nor does it restrict the travel of residents. It does mandate that "every person is ordered to stay at his or her place of residence except as necessary to perform...'essential activities.'"
That provision covers quite a bit of ground.
Getting supplies, like food, gasoline and medicine, for you and your family is still allowed. With all students across the state starting to learn from home beginning on Monday, getting materials for that distance learning is also permitted. Residents can also buy pet supplies as well.
Restaurants and bars are still classified as an "essential business," so people will still be allowed to pick up take-out from local restaurants.
People also won't be cut off from their relatives. The order has provisions allowing residents "to take care of others" and "to see family members." The former description allows for someone to leave their home "to care for a family member, friend, or pet in an another household, or to donate blood, or to transport family members, friends, or pets as allowed by [the] Order."
The order issued Friday also allows for people "to engage in outdoor activity." However, it must include "fewer than 10 people" and everyone needs to maintain "a consistent six-foot distance from other persons."
As for work, the order includes 21 groups of "essential businesses and operations," each of which has several, specific types of businesses listed.
There was also some reclassification between last week's order and the one issued on Friday. In the March 27 order, book stores were listed under "non-essential businesses" under the "Retail stores" section.
However, in the April 3 order, book stores appear in the section for "Essential retailers," along with others like gun stores, bicycle repair stores, liquor stores and home improvement stores, among several others.
Among the groups of "essential businesses and operations" were listed military or defense operations and religious entities.
The order permits a person to leave their home "to attend an event that is a religious worship service, wedding, or funeral." However, those religious events have to meet one of two criteria:
- "The event involves fewer than 10 peole and the people maintain a consistent six-foot distance from one another"
- "The event is a 'drive-in' worship service that adheres to the following rules:
- All participants shall remain in their vehicles for the entirety of the service;
- The participants in each vehicle all share the same place of residence; and
- Participants do not come within six feet of participants in other vehicles"
How long will this last?
This health order is scheduled to expire on April 30, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Prior to that, the governor's office will make a determination about whether the order needs to be extended, expanded or relaxed.