Huntsville-area leaders urge public to continue following health guidelines as more businesses prepare to reopen

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – As some businesses that were once deemed non-essential prepare to reopen Monday, Huntsville-area officials say there’s still a weekend ahead and they’re expecting safe and responsible actions.

“No change this weekend, but a big change coming Monday,” said Madison Mayor Paul Finley. “We all are worried about too many things coming together at one time, but I think we’re all ready to move forward.”

City and county officials agree things must be taken slowly.

Madison County EMA Director Jeff Birdwell said people have commonly reported one thing over the past weeks.

“Not enough distancing,” Birdwell said. “Whether it’s in the workplace or wherever.”

Birdwell said often times these are controllable circumstances.

“It’s important that each person take personal responsibility for making sure they follow the guidelines that are out there,” he said.

Finley said many businesses have used this time to develop responsible reopening plans to keep patrons safe.

“We continue to get more and more calls from businesses that have said ‘We’re open, we have a plan, we’re ready for 50 percent occupancy. We’re ready for masking of our employees, we’re ready for continued sanitation in between whether it be a haircut or between services,'” Finley said.

He acknowledged not everyone is excited to see things reopen for a number of reasons.

“A reminder to everybody, you don’t have to go,” Finley said.

Once places like bars, salons and gyms begin reopening, Finley said to be sure to wear a mask and keep your distance when you can.