At a news conference Friday morning Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth announced the findings of the Alabama coronavirus task force and its recommendations to the governor regarding reopening Alabama amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are recommendations sent to Gov. Kay Ivey for her consideration and possible approval:

  • Retail stores -- Operate at 50 percent capacity, with safe checkout lines, doors and exits, and a sanitation policy.
  • Restaurants -- Customers kept 6 feet apart, limited to six guests per table, sanitation procedures regularly.
  • Close contact services – Barber shops, nail, tattoo, tanning, waxing salon, etc. ALL employees required to wear masks, no customers in waiting area, appointment only.
  • Child care -- Follow CDC guidelines
  • May 1 opening – medical, health and services to resume non-emergency care. N95 masks, gloves, all surfaces cleaned, no waiting customers.  
  • Entertainment – 35 percent capacity on some. Temperature checking, 6 feet distance maintained, sanitize areas.
  • Exercise facilities -- Social distancing, sanitize equipment.
  • Beaches -- May 1 open to recreation -- walking, exercising only, social distancing. On May 15 expand to chairs, tents, only with small groups (10 or less). Enforcement patrols to make sure people are using safe practices
  • Sports -- Youth baseball, softball to resume May 11 with no concession stands, kids wearing masks in dugouts.

Lt Gov Ainsworth said officials will need to closely monitor for a resurgent uptick of COVID-19 cases. “Use the model of testing, managing going forward,” he said. “Find out where the spread is going, and pinpoint.”

Regarding small retail stores and restaurants, Ainsworth said the task force “wants them to open now.”

He said, “Gov Ivey is reviewing the recommendations.”

The task force is “focused on small businesses,” he said. When to open schools is “not in our wheelhouse,” he said.

The lieutenant governor acknowledged that, “This is not a perfect plan.”

State Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) during the news conference said that it is key that establishments such as restaurants limit how many customers are allowed inside the building. Regarding enforcement, he said, there would need to be “multiple areas of checkpoint. people are going to need to report violators.”

Bars are not included in the business plan, he said.


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