Huntsville residents enjoy time in the sun after stay at home order expires

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Saturday marked the first weekend since the governor’s stay at home order expired and dozens of small groups took advantage by enjoying some time at Big Spring Park.

“We are losing our minds locked up in the house,” said resident Jean Carville. “It’s gorgeous and we had to get out. So it’s nice to see other people are doing it too. We’re just stir crazy.”

Carville said its something some area residents haven’t done in months.

Although the governor’s stay at home order was lifted, a new “safer at home” order is in place. Some wonder how police can monitor and enforce it.

A representative from the Huntsville Police Department said citizens have been mindful and when officers are out, many are willing to make adjustments for public safety.

“They’ve been extremely willing to help us out,” Sergeant Kevin Lambert said.

Lambert added the department’s primary focus has been to educate people and encourage them to follow guidance to keep everyone safe. The department said it did not increase its presence around town specifically because the stay at home order was lifted.

One man said he took the governor’s request seriously and now that her order has expired, he wants to get out and support local businesses.

“I saw on the news that they were having food and wanted to go out and patronize the local businesses,” said Stephen Patti. “You know, the kids have been really cooped up for the last two months and I really wanted to take advantage.”

Across the road, the Von Braun Center sold food, lemonade and cocktails just outside the arena. Carville said the staff worked to keep everyone distant in line.

“Even getting the drinks, they had six feet indicators where you couldn’t get closer,” she said. “I think that people are being respectful and just appreciate being able to be out.

Patti said he hopes Saturday was just the start of turning things around.

“I’m hoping today is the first step to more and more. We have to try to get back to normal at some point.”

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