UPDATED — Calling it a matter of life and death, the chief medical officer of Jefferson County called for the closure of most retail stores beginning at 5 p.m. today.
Those include furniture and home furnishing stores; clothing and shoe stores; jewelry; luggage and leather goods stores; department stores; sporting goods; hobby book and music stores; and florists.
The closure order does not include grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, hardware and building supply stores, and stores that sell technology and office supplies. However, the order states that those businesses may operate only if they can provide appropriate social distancing of six feet or more, the order states.
The closures will continue until at least April 6.
“I’m aware that many people are asking questions about what’s essential or not,” Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson said in a tweeted video. “But this is not a time to look for loopholes. I simply cannot possibly list each and every business so I need your help, using good judgment, to do everything you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
The ban on operation of non-essential businesses and services previously and still bans any gathering, in stores or elsewhere, that draws together 10 people or more and cannot guarantee at least six feet of distance between each of those people.
The new order also reiterates that salons and barbershops must be closed “both for the safety of the patrons and the haircare professionals.
“There simply is no way,” Wilson said of barbers and hair stylists, “to maintain safe social distancing.”
The health department put together a graphic, available here, that shows which businesses should be open or closed.
“I know that some of the information in my previous public health order has been confusing,” Wilson said. “I want to be very clear. This is a matter of life and death.”
Entertainment, including night clubs, bowling alleys, arcades, racetracks, indoor children’s play places, pool halls, adult gaming and entertainment venues
Recreation facilities, including gyms and fitness centers, swimming pools and spas, excluding licensed physical therapy services
Retail stores, furniture and home furnishing stores; clothing and shoe stores; jewelry; luggage and leather goods stores; department stores; sporting goods; hobby book and music stores; and florists.
Barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons and threading salons
Nail salons and spas
Concert venues and auditoriums
Tourist attractions (including museums, planetariums, parades)
Body art facilities and tattoo services
Massage therapy and establishments and services
Museums and Galleries
Performing Arts centers/events/rehearsals
Fraternity and Sorority meetings and events
Proms, Formals and other similar events