MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- A major change is about to hit Mobile grocery stores, pharmacies and pretty much every business that is still open.

The City of Mobile is about to limit the number of people allowed inside businesses.


This file image shows an illustration of the coronavirus. 

“We will be coming out with a directive to those businesses that are remaining open to help them set a limit on how many people will be allowed inside their store,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

The goal is to create social distancing, to help slow the spread.

“If you have the ability to stay at home, we need you to stay at home,” Stimpson said.

The “stay home” message is not translating to a curfew or shelter-in-place order in Mobile, at least not yet.

Despite multiple cities in Alabama issuing the order.

“We have in our toolkit, we have an order that we can pull out and say we will have a curfew,” Stimpson said.

The hope is the order will not be necessary.

Health experts expect to get a clearer picture of how widespread the virus is here with more testing.

USA Health said they will have the Ladd-Peebles Stadium testing site up and running next Monday.

“We think that we will be able to do up to 250 test per day at this site,” said Dr. Michael Chang, USA Health’s Chief Medical Officer.

Despite the news in other cities, Mobile County’s hospitals are doing well.

The Mobile County Health Department said the beds and ventilators are less than 50 percent to capacity.

“I feel comfortable at this time saying that in the near-term future that we should be in good shape,” Stimpson said.

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