Governor Kay Ivey's Mandate
Latest update from Governor Kay Ivey
Decide for You, Your Employees, Your Community
Today, the Alabama Department of Public Health released frequently asked questions for businesses related to Saturday's stay-at-home order.
Read Health Department's FAQs for Business
Read the entire document for references
to your particular category of business
Read Full Stay-at-Home Order
The FAQs reference specific sections of this order,
which defines many different types
of businesses and services as essential
Since the order came out late Friday, you have been weighing what is best for your business, your employees, your communities and yourself within the parameters of the health order. As your trade association, Alabama Retail seeks to point you toward the information you need to make those decisions. Consult your lawyer, accountant, insurance company, banker/financial adviser etc. about business and/or legal decisions.
Protect Health of Employees, Customers and Yourself
The order and the FAQs ask businesses and individuals to first consider if an action or movement will risk the spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. Both then contain details of how a wide range of businesses and activities can safely proceed. Certain entertainment, athletic and close-contact service businesses, venues and activities are closed to nonemployees. See item 5 on pages 7 and 8 of the order to determine if your business falls into the closed category.
Essential businesses – both those that can have customers inside their stores and those that can only serve customers through shipping, delivery and curbside – must take “all reasonable steps” to keep customers and employees six feet apart from one another, the order says.
The order also says essential businesses and operations must take “all reasonable steps” to avoid gatherings of 10 or more persons. That provision refers to people:
- outside for curbside pickup or in line to get in your store; and
- inside stores at cash registers, in the aisles or fulfilling online or curbside orders.
Along with 6-foot separation, the order requires grocery stores, pharmacies, “big box” stores and others open to the public to implement a 50% “emergency maximum occupancy rate,” which is half of the number of people allowed in a building based on state fire codes. As those kinds of stores did before COVID-19, they are to follow sanitation guidelines from public health authorities.
Change in Guidance Concerning Face Coverings
The Centers for Disease Control now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Surgical masks or N-95 respirators remain critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, the CDC says.
For workers in food production, processing and retail settings who do not typically wear masks as part of their jobs, the Food & Drug Administration says to consider the following if you choose to use a cloth face covering to slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Maintain face coverings in accordance with parameters in FDA’s Model Food Code sections 4-801.11 Clean Linens and 4.802.11 Specifications.
- Launder reusable face coverings before each daily use.
- CDC also has additional information on the use of face coverings, including washing instructions and information on how to make homemade face covers.
Monitor Emails, Resources on Our Website and Social Media
Shortly after noon today, Alabama Retail tweeted and updated its website about the FAQs linked at the top of this email. The face covering information was added to our resource page Saturday evening.
We will continue to send emails to you about major developments related to the pandemic of special note to businesses as soon as we can after we become aware of the information. Please continue to communicate to us your concerns and questions so we can pass those on to officials or point you toward a needed resource.
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