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Gov. Kay Ivey announces closing of nonessential businesses

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday the close of several non-essential businesses statewide starting Saturday evening until the middle of April because of the coronavirus epidemic. Ivey held a press conference with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris Friday.

Effective Saturday evening at 5 p.m., businesses such as nightclubs, bowling alleys, arcades, casinos, bingo halls, nail salons, barber shops, department stores, book stores and fitnesses will be closed until April 17.

“This is not a decision I came to lightly,” Ivey said. “It’s incredibly difficult news to deliver, but this is a matter of life and death. Be isolated and stay home. This is very real.”

Ivey also said it was not necessary to shut down the entire state. She also added that anyone violating the law will be subject to a $500 fine.

“I can’t stress to you enough that we must take this deadly virus seriously, I assure you I’m doing everything in my power and using every available resource to protect Alabama,” Ivey said. “If people want to do more individually by imposing your own shelter in place, you don’t need my permission to do so.”

As of Friday morning, 538 Alabama residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and three people have died. Harris said eight incidents are currently under investigation.

Ivey closed the press conference urging Alabama residents to follow the theme, “Together Alabama.”

“Take individual responsibility for yourself and your family,” Ivey said. “We have a Alabama family situation. Together Alabama, we will get through this.”