MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – This weekend, Madison County leaders held a news briefing where they discussed the latest developments with COVID-19 and how they’re working to keep the community safe.
One leading topic of discussion was Governor Kay Ivey’s stay-at-home order.
“I know for many this is tough, but this order comes as a direct result of the threat this virus poses to our entire state, community and region,” explained Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong.
Governor Ivey’s order has now been in effect for more than 24 hours, meaning Alabamians should not leave their homes except for essential activities like work or grocery shopping.
Strong said even then, it should not be a family outing.
“One person in the family should go. Don’t load up the whole family and go to the grocery store,” he explained. “One cart, one person, and if we follow these guidelines we will be closer to our recovery.”
Strong said many have seen groups of younger adults continue to gather during a time when they need to be separating.
“Just like everybody was when you were younger, you were invincible. You felt nothing would impact you and that’s the thing, this virus does not discriminate. It’s young, it’s older, it’s middle-aged, it’s black, it’s white, it’s male, its female.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a number of those who have contracted the virus have been asymptomatic, meaning they don’t show symptoms. With that being said, people who see large public gatherings are encouraged to report them to local authorities.
Many are concerned about the effectiveness of the order, and wonder how law enforcement will ensure people are in compliance. County officials said an enforcement plan will roll out this week
For now, area law enforcement have been authorized to issue verbal warnings and citations for non-compliance.
Strong said the governor’s order is only as strong as the people that are actively trying to follow it.