Birmingham, Jeffco declare COVID-19 state of emergencies, prescription re-fill info and ways to help

Jefferson County Health Officer Mark Wilson announced the closure of private schools, preschools, child care centers and senior centers. He also closed dining areas and bars at county restaurants. Photo courtesy of Samuetta Nesbitt with United Way

In response to the nationwide coronavirus crisis that has swept Birmingham and the nation, Bham Now is working to help all of us get through this together.

Our goal: provide timely information to the community.

We will be continually adding stories, so please look for updates on our website and social media channels to this unprecedented story.

Jefferson County Commission and Birmingham declare state of emergency

Both the Jefferson County Commission and the city of Birmingham have declared a state of emergency today due to the COVID-19 virus.

This morning, Jefferson County Commission made the declaration which  allows for the Emergency Management Agency to implement its emergency powers as set out in Alabama Code 31-9-10 (1975). In addition, the Commission approved a resolution that will close the Jefferson County Courthouse and Bessemer Courthouse and its annex locations to the public following the close of business today – through April 6. Citizens are encouraged to do business online.  Visit: Jefferson County Website

Immediately following Jefferson County, this afternoon Mayor Randall Woodfin declared a state of emergency in Birmingham.

“Working together, with calm and compassion for others, we will move through this situation.

Under the authority of the state code and general code of Birmingham, I am declaring a state of emergency in the City of Birmingham. Based on the information we have received from public health experts, I have determined it is in the best interest of the public and the City of Birmingham to recommend there be no in-person events that consists of 25 people or more in the City of Birmingham to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19.”

The mayor concluded his comments saying, “let’s protect each other, take care of each other.”

 

Breaking news update:

Announced this late afternoon, Jefferson County Health Officer Mark Wilson announced restrictions on nursing homes, senior centers, restaurants and schools.

Starting tomorrow per an order by the Jefferson County Department of Health, restaurants, bars and breweries will no longer be allowed to offer on-premises consumption of food or beverages. Carryout will still be allowed, and restaurants are encouraged to offer online ordering and curbside pickup.

Here is a list of curbside pickup-up restaurants:

Local Birmingham restaurants offering curbside pick-up—let us know more!

Moreover, visitations to nursing homes/long term care facilities are now prohibited. Effective Thursday, March 19, 2020, Private Schools, preschools and childcare centers with 12 or more children shall be closed until April 6, 2020. Senior Centers are also closed.

Pharmacy rules waived to help refill prescriptions

Birmingham, Alabama, locally owned Birmingham pharmacies
Photo via Homewood Pharmacy’s website

Here is important news about re-filling vital prescripitions:

The Alabama Board of Pharmacy has authorized pharmacists to process emergency prescription refills for a 30-day supply of maintenance medications. The order began March 14th and will terminate on March 31, 2020.

Here is the memo which was obtained on the Alabama Pharmacy Association Facebook page.

Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham announce formation of two funds

Photo credit: D. Jerome Smedley

The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham has established two funds so that members of the community can help support relief efforts:

In partnership with the City of Birmingham, the Foundation has opened the Birmingham Strong Fund. This emergency loan fund is for small businesses in Birmingham to help stabilize employment, stimulate economic vitality and offset losses related to the coronavirus. The fund, will serve as a revolving loan fund for small businesses. It will be housed at the Community Foundation and by the Birmingham Business Resource Council. The City of Birmingham will release more information about the loan program next week.

Mayor Randall Woodfin speaking at COVID – 19 news conference on March 13, 2020, announcing the creation of the Bham Strong Fund. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Emergency Response Fund

The Community Foundation has also activated their Emergency Response Fund. This Fund was opened in response to the 1998 tornadoes, and has provided long-term resources for disasters impacting the region over the last 20 years.

“This grantmaking fund was established so that we could be prepared for unforeseen situations like this,” said Christopher Nanni, President and CEO of The Community Foundation.  “We have reactivated the fund so that we can provide flexible resources to our region for the communities that are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.”

To learn more about these two response funds and make a donation –  visit:

https://www.cfbham.org/covid-19-response-funds/

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Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.