Jefferson County Health Department officials ordered all nonessential services and businesses to close at 5 p.m. on Friday. Those businesses and services are listed on the order as:

•Entertainment, including night clubs, bowling alleys, arcades, racetracks, indoor children’s play places, pool halls, adult gaming and entertainment venues

•Recreation facilities, including gyms and fitness centers, swimming pools and spas, excluding licensed physical therapy services

•Nail salons and spas

•Casinos

•Concert venues and auditoriums

•Theaters

•Tourist attractions (including museums, planetariums, parades)

•Body art facilities and tattoo services

•Tanning salons

•Massage parlors

•Waxing salons/threading salons

•Museums and Galleries

•Performing Arts centers/events/rehearsals

•Social clubs

•Fraternity and Sorority meetings and events

•Proms, Formals and other similar events

These businesses will remain closed until April 6. Prior to that date, a decision will be made if they have to remain closed or can reopen. 

The order also makes gatherings of 10 people or more illegal and bans any gathering where individuals cannot maintain a six foot distance from each other.

Senior citizen centers, schools and preschools and childcare facilities with more than 12 children are also to remain closed until at least April 6, 2020. Prior to April 6, a decision will be made about possible reopening.

Restaurants will not be able to serve food or drink until April 6, 2020, but may continue to serve in the drive-thru and carry out.

Public Health Officer for Jefferson County Mark Wilson said he is allowing restaurants to remain open so that people can continue to work.

Nursing homes and hospitals are limited to essential personnel and no visitors are permitted, except in compassionate situations like end of life.

This order replaces the previous order.

Wilson said he issued the order because the continued spread of COVID-19 required “additional bold action.”

“I know that each day and each action either results in lives lost or lives saved, and today, I am taking another step to protect and defend the lives of every person in Jefferson County.”

County Commission Chairman Jimmie Stephens also spoke at the press conference, saying that we are at war with this virus. He said he and the other commissioners and elected officials were in contact and remained committed to protecting the public. He also called on the public to heed the warnings they are hearing and do as Wilson and other experts have advised.

Rachel Davis is the editor and general manager of The North Jefferson News. She can be reached at editor@njeffersonnews.com or by calling 205.631.8716. 

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