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Statewide stay-at-home order begins tomorrow at 5 p.m.

By Michael Wetzel

For the Enquirer

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey today announced a stay-at-home order for the state, beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“More has to be done. Stay at home,” she said. “It’s now the law.”

The order by the state health officer would expire April 30.

The order allows people to leave home for these reasons:

• to obtain necessary supplies such as fuel, pet items and items to maintain sanitary and safe operation of a home;

• to obtain or provide necessary services such as medical/dental services, auto repair services, or distance learning services;

• to attend religious services if the event involves fewer than 10 people and those involved maintain a consistent 6-foot separation; drive-in worship services also are permitted if all participants remain in their vehicles during the entire service and all vehicle occupants share the same residence;

• to engage in outdoor activity as long as the 6-foot separation is maintained;

• to seek shelter;

• to travel as required by law;

• to see family members;

• and to work for “essential businesses and operations.” Those can include government operations; health care providers; infrastructure operations; manufacturing facilities; agricultural operations and farms; essential retailers such as grocery stores, liquor stores, hardware stores and pharmacies; essential personal services such as mail delivery or trash collections; media operations; education operations; financial services; professional services such as insurance, legal or real estate; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction and construction-related services; essential public services; military or defense operations; vendors that provide essential services; religious entities; and support operations for other essential businesses.