Lt. Gov. Ainsworth Releases Recommendations for Responsibly Reopening Alabama’s Economy
Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth and State Representative Danny Garrett (R – Trussville) on Friday released the “Reopen Alabama Responsibly: Phase I” report, which is a series of recommendations requested by Gov. Kay Ivey for reopening the state’s economy in the coming weeks.
“Our report provides an effective roadmap for safely reopening businesses, restoring commerce, and recharging Alabama’s economy while, at the same time, protecting the public health,” Ainsworth said. “It allows stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, and businesses of all sizes to once again open their doors because when it comes to restarting our economy and putting people back to work, every business is an essential business.”
As the COVID-19 infection rate indicated a downward trend last week, Ivey asked the Small Business Commission, which is statutorily led by Ainsworth, to submit the recommendations for putting Alabama back to work in a safe and responsible manner.
A subcommittee of business leaders and members of the Alabama Legislature drafted the “Reopen Alabama Responsibly Phase: I” report that has been submitted to the governor, and the full commission ratified its contents. Rep. Garrett, who led the subcommittee, reached out to business owners across all industry sectors in order to provide the most comprehensive recommendations possible.
“We have worked to create a detailed and thorough plan that considers all variables and allows businesses to resume operations if they follow strict health and safety guidelines for the foreseeable future,” Garrett said. “The numbers indicate that Alabama successfully minimized the health damage that COVID-19 posed to its citizens, so now we must begin to repair the serious and crippling economic damage that the virus inflicted.”
While many recommendations are specific to various industries listed within the report, some guidelines that broadly apply to all economic concerns operating within Alabama include:
- Strictly monitoring the health of employees and placing any employee who displays symptoms of COVID-19 on sick leave
- Limiting the number of people allowed inside the place of business at one time
- Increasing the frequency of all sanitizing and cleaning measures and requiring additional sanitizing measures for certain circumstances
- Enforcing social distancing in all areas of the place of business, specifically high-traffic areas where markings will be required to ensure safe spacing at all times
- Establishing measures to limit interaction between employees and customers
Other recommendations within individual -but not all – business sectors include limiting cash transactions, requiring the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and face masks, and requiring temperature checks of customers before entering some businesses.
Ivey has said the economic resumption plan will be weighed alongside the recommendations of State Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and other medical professionals working to ensure that COVID-19 numbers continue to stabilize and decline. She expects to join Dr. Harris in issuing a new and updated State Public Health Order “on or before April 28.”