Cancel Gatherings of 500 People or More, Jefferson County Health Officer Advises

Coronavirus. Source: CDC

Jefferson County’s health officer, Dr. Mark Wilson, in a press conference Thursday recommended canceling all public gatherings of 500 people or more in a bid to protect people from the new coronavirus.

No one in Alabama has been diagnosed with COVID-19, but there’s a good chance there are undiagnosed cases in the state, Wilson said.

He said the guidance is advice at this point and he expects organizations will want to follow it, but the Health Department has the ability to enforce it if necessary.

The advice applies to churches but not schools, which are being managed by the state Department of Education.

He also stressed the importance of people thoroughly washing their hands and cleaning surfaces with which they come into contact, and keeping a distance from other people, preferably 6 feet. He said people 60 and older or with existing health problems should be particularly careful.

Wilson said Jefferson County is at an increased risk of spreading the new coronavirus because of its large population, airport and heavy traffic.

“These are unprecedented times in Jefferson County and in the United States, at least going back to the great flu epidemic of 1918, so we are needing to take unprecedented action at his time,” Wilson told the Trussville Tribune.