Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey closes nonessential businesses statewide; Ainsworth calls for swifter action


Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey closes nonessential businesses statewide; Ainsworth calls for swifter action

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced today (March 27) that all nonessential businesses statewide are to be closed starting Saturday, March 28, at 5 p.m. The closure is scheduled for March 28 through April 17.

Ivey said she and her Alabama COVID-19 Task Force do not want to shut down all businesses across the state but instead would close a specific list of businesses, including entertainment and concert venues, tourist attractions, retail stores selling nonessential goods, sports centers and gyms, and personal services providers (see the full list at the end of this article).

Ivey said a statewide shelter-in-place will not be ordered but acknowledged in a tweet, “COVID-19 is a global crisis. There’s just no owner’s manual on how to do this. This will be hard, but I’m more confident than ever that we’ll get through this TOGETHER. That’s why from this point forward, I want us all to think of this effort as #TogetherAL.”

Doing enough?

In a letter to the Alabama COVID-19 Task Force on March 25, Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth expressed concern that Alabama was not taking enough precautions statewide to slow the transmission of the coronavirus and the illness it causes (COVID-19).

“In my opinion, and those of many experts I have consulted, Alabama’s biggest hurdles in the coming months will be a lack of hospital capacity and a dramatic shortage of personal protective equipment, known commonly within the medical community as PPE,” Ainsworth said. “A tsunami of hospital patients is likely to fall upon Alabama in the not too distant future, and it is my opinion that this task force and the state are not taking a realistic view of the numbers or adequately preparing for what awaits us.”

Ainsworth went on to say that “time is our enemy, and each moment that we lose by not preparing for the coming deluge will result in the loss of life and the crippling of our healthcare infrastructure. Hospitals need our immediate help to expand capacity, but it will require an ‘all hands on deck’ approach and the willingness of all involved to make it a priority.

“Simply put, we have not done enough to prepare, and action must be taken now.”

Ainsworth’s information suggests that based on current rates of transmission, the state could exceed its capacity for patients needing ventilators by April 24. Ainsworth said Alabama has the knowledge and experience necessary to put together a comprehensive emergency action plan and should do so immediately. (Read the full text of Ainsworth’s memorandum here.)

Businesses to close

Here is the list of businesses listed in Gov. Ivey’s March 27 State Health Order (click here to see the full order):

Effective March 28, 2020 at 5:00 P.M., the following “non-essential” businesses, venues, and activities shall be closed to non-employees or not take place:

Entertainment venues as follows:

(1) Night clubs

(2) Bowling alleys

(3) Arcades

(4) Concert venues

(5) Theaters, auditoriums, and performing arts centers

(6) Tourist attractions (including museums and planetariums)

(7) Racetracks

(8) Indoor children’s play areas

(9) Adult entertainment venues

(10) Casinos

(11) Bingo halls

(12) Venues operated by social clubs


Athletic facilities and activities as follows:

(1) Fitness centers and commercial gyms

(2) Spas and public or commercial swimming pools

(3) Yoga, barre, and spin facilities

(4) Spectator sports

(5) Sports that involve interaction with another person of closer than 6 feet

(6) Activities that require use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment

(7) Activities on commercial or public playground equipment


Close-contact service providers as follows:

(1) Barber shops

(2) Hair salons

(3) Waxing salons

(4) Threading salons

(5) Nail salons and spas

(6) Body-art facilities and tattoo services

(7) Tanning salons

(8) Massage-therapy establishments and massage services


Retail stores as follows:

(1) Furniture and home-furnishings stores

(2) Clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores

(3) Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores

(4) Department stores

(5) Sporting goods stores

(6) Book, craft, and music stores