Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday that will be effective beginning on Saturday, April 4 at 5 p.m. and expire on April 30.
The order comes as Lee County nears the grim mark of having at least 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as of Friday afternoon, according to the Alabama Department fo Public Health.
ADPH has reported 34 deaths total in the state. Nearly 8,400 have been tested for the virus, according to the ADPH.
“You need to understand we are past urging people to stay at home," Ivey said. "It is now the law.”
The order will require people to stay at home as much as they can, expect when leaving for essential outings, which include the following: going to work at critical jobs, doing exercise alone outdoors, getting health care or medicine, buying food and getting groceries.
The order also states that each store must allow up to 50% of the maximum under fire code and place workers who will monitor crowds at entrances and exits.
East Alabama Medical Center had already advised and urged residents to practice a "shelter-at-home" order, even as the state had hesitated to do so.
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Ivey said the median age of individuals who are infected is 49 and that more than 200 Alabama health care workers are infected.
"April stands to be very tough and potentially very deadly,” Ivey said. "You need to understand we are past urging people to stay at home. It is now the law.”
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said local prosecutors, district attorneys and police can enforce the order.
Ivey said that after being briefed by the Emergency Management Agency, which showed data that outlined how people weren't following social distancing practices, she decided a stay-at-home order was necessary.
EAMC has previously stated that many of their patients had congregated at church and thus likely contracted COVID-19 there.
"It's not even safe to go to our places of worship and congregate," Ivey said.
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