Riley, McCoy expect shelter in place order at some point

Published 9:00 am Friday, April 3, 2020

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Alabama is one of very few southern states yet to adopt a shelter in place order from the governor, but two local mayors would not be surprised to see one being enacted by Gov. Kay Ivey due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus.

“I’m not second-guessing her, but I think we probably need to do that,” said Valley Mayor Leonard Riley. “In terms of per capita cases and deaths, our numbers are high in Chambers County, and that should concern us all.”

Riley said he’s been staying home a lot over the past few days but when he does get out he notices a lot less traffic than normal. He said he’d gone to Valley Walmart a few days ago and had noticed social distancing being practiced.

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“People were spread out as they were entering and leaving,” he said.

Mayor Kyle McCoy said that Lanett residents, for the most part, are staying at home but there is a minority of townspeople who are congregating too much, and it’s putting everyone’s health and safety at risk. “

There’s too much socializing. I see it every day,” he said. “There were people everywhere in the park when we closed it Tuesday evening.”

Last Friday, State Health Officer Scott Harris issued an order to close parks, gyms and other recreation facilities for several weeks. Gatherings must be kept to 10 people or less. Georgia’s shelter in place order goes into effect Friday and will remain in place at least until April 13. This is being done in the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 so that the state’s hospitals won’t be overwhelmed.

McCoy said that it made sense for Alabama to enact a shelter in place order, given that Georgia, Florida and Mississippi had done that.

“Gov. Ivey has been at the forefront of this, and I expect we will be doing this as well,” McCoy said.

With Easter weekend coming up soon, McCoy urged citizens to stay home and to watch church services online.

“The more people doing this the better,” he said. “There could be some people out there who aren’t attending local services, and they might like what they see.”

McCoy urged everyone to heed the recommendations being made on frequent hand washing, social distancing and staying at home as much as possible.

“Those who aren’t doing this are putting everyone else at risk,” he said.