Jefferson County, Ala. nonessential businesses ordered to close Monday

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A sign outside the concession area at the Paramount Drive-In Theatres limits the number of customers who can be served inside due to coronavirus concerns, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Paramount, Calif. The drive-in theater, long a dwindling nostalgia act in a multiplex world, is experiencing a momentary return to prominence. With nearly all of the nation’s movie theaters shuttered due to the pandemic, some drive-in owners think they’re in a unique position to give moviegoers a chance to do something out of the house but stay within prudent distance from one another. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Jefferson County Department of Public Health has ordered all nonessential businesses such as barbershops and hair salons to close by Monday evening.

This order comes as the county completes its first week of its COVID-19 response. Health Officer Mark Wilson said nonessential businesses have until March 23 at 5 p.m. to close its doors due to the coronavirus outbreak. County officials and state leaders have been administering social distancing guidelines to stop the spread of the virus.

“I want to be very clear,” Wilson said, “This is a matter of life and death.”

The order does not include grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, hardware, building supplies and office supply stores, also known as essential businesses during the outbreak however many have asked what is included in nonessential.

This may be a time to reflect on what is considered a need and a want in order to live a healthy lifestyle without being exposed to the coronavirus.

“This is not a time to look for loopholes. I cannot possibly list each and every business so I need your help using good judgment to do everything you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Wilson said.

Jefferson County is the first county within the state of Alabama to order the closing of nonessential businesses. This comes as the state has a total of 157 coronavirus cases and 71 in Jefferson County.


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