The Alabama Stay-at-Home Order
On April 3, 2020, Alabama State Health Officer issued an order, which is being referred to as the “Stay-at-Home” order. This order supersedes all of his previous orders. I have attached the State Health Officer Order for your review. We will be providing more details regarding the order in another posting.
This order supersedes any of the orders that County Health officials have put into place except for two counties. The two counties are Mobile County and Jefferson County. Mobile County and Jefferson County by Alabama statute can issue their orders in regards to health issues. That means the rules can be more restrictive in these two counties, but they cannot override the state’s order. If you live or work in either Jefferson County or Mobile County, you should review the orders issued by that county’s Health Officer to see if it is more restrictive than the State Health Officer’s Order.
This order does not contain a curfew; this order says you need to stay on your property, except for nine different circumstances, for you to leave your property. That being said, several of the cities have enacted curfews since the coronavirus emergency started. You need to check with your city to make sure there’s not a curfew. We will try to update the cities that have curfews as we can.
This order states that the residents of Alabama need to stay at home except for these nine different circumstances. What does it mean to stay at home? Does the order required you to stay in your house? No, it means you can be on your property, the area around your house, you can walk around your neighborhood, and you can be outside. You can exercise, walk on the streets and sidewalks of your community, but what is essential is to is limit the amount of contact you have with people to limit any spread of the Coronavirus.
Remember that you need to keep a six-foot distance from people that are not part of your household. Even if you’re on your property and people are on the property that does not live with you, you need to to keep the 6-foot distance from them,
Here are the nine exceptions to the requirement to stay home order. We will go into detail in another posting.
- To obtain necessary supplies for education, home, and working from home.
- To obtain or provide necessary services, which includes going to state or federal agencies to obtain essential services.
- To take care of others, there are people out there that you need to check. Many of us have family members that have some physical or mental limitations that you need to check. This exception allowed you to travel to care for others.
- To work. This exception allows you to travel for work and work-related activities. We will go into detail more about what work is covered under the essential activities, which we will talk about in a later post, but if you got to go to work and it’s legitimate, then you can go to work.
- To engage in outdoor activities. Remember that while you participate in outdoor activities, you still need to maintain that 6-foot separation. I doubt you’re going to be able to play basketball, rugby, or soccer. Any activity where it would be difficult to maintain that separation is not allowed.
- To seek shelter. The exception is a catch-all for if there is some reason that you have to leave your home; examples would be a fire or tornado fire.
- To travel as required by law. If you order to appear court, ordered to by law enforcement to travel, then you are allowed to do that. All courts are currently closed until April 30. There are some virtual courts hearings, but those are very limited
- To see family members. This exception allows you to visit family members. Still, it reminds you that if you see family members, you take precautions, whether it is maintained that 6-foot separation or wearing some kind of protective clothing if you’re afraid that you are going to be contaminated by a family member.
- To attend religious services. This exception allows two types of services. You can participate in religious services that have less than ten people in attendance at the meeting. The second type of service is drive-in services, but it has three strict limitations on drive-in services. No one can be outside of their car during the entire church. All occupants of a vehicle have to be residents of the same household. You cannot be within six feet of another vehicle; now I do not know that means that all vehicles should be 6 feet apart or that if you get out of your vehicle, you must maintain a six feet distance from other vehicles.
If you have any questions, feel free to call us (205) 685-8383 or email us at JohnAaron@aaronlawfirm.com, and we will answer your questions.
Be safe and keep your family safe during this time.