Birmingham 1603396 1920


Traffic congestion in Birmingham hasn’t been a problem for a while now. And, after action by the Birmingham City Council yesterday, there will be even fewer vehicles on the streets.

“Today, we’re simply asking you to briefly remain apart so that we can come back together stronger than ever,” Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said in regards to the new ordinance.

The shelter-in-place ordinance prevents people from leaving their homes except to report to their essential jobs, buy or pick up food or medicine or exercise. The ordinance is in place for Birmingham residents until April 3. Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health said the ordinance is critical.

“This is our moment, this is our moment to beat this virus,” he said. “This is our moment to be able to come on the other side, like Mayor Woodfin said, and we have to do it and we will overcome this.”

Violating the ordinance could cost up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. However, residents are still allowed to go to work, to the grocery store, doctor and even exercise outside. And, this new ordinance does not close any businesses. Businesses that are legally open now can remain open.

Council members and the mayor say they want to eliminate unnecessary congregating and physical contact.

“I want to reassure you that we will be on the right side of history by making this decision,” Woodfin said. “And, it is up to Birmingham to once agin set the example for leadership, as well as compassion, in this city and state.”

There are several exceptions to this new ordinance. Residents can still go to the grocery store or to pick up to-go orders from restaurants. You can still go to the doctor or even take your pet to the vet. But, local police will enforce the ordinance that the city council has called a “matter of life and death.”

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