(WTVM) - Several East Alabama cities are putting measures in place to encourage social distancing. These include curfews and limiting the amount of customers in stores.
Smiths Station is now under a curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m EST as Lee County has more than 100 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“East Alabama Medical Center has asked us as mayors to take charge in trying to cut people congregating or coming together. And this past weekend, we had several house parties and parking lot parties that had to be broke up in the city of Smiths Station," said Smiths Station Mayor Bubba Copeland.
Copeland said this curfew won’t be an issue for essential workers or those going to the grocery store and practicing social distancing.
“If you’re congregating with 10 or more people, it pertains to you and you need to make sure that you keep your social distancing and let’s just work together to save lives. People are dying from this and the seriousness of this is nothing to be toyed with,” Copeland explained.
The City of Eufaula is also under a curfew from 10:00 p.m until 5:00 p.m. Those who do not follow these curfews could get a warning, up to a $500 fine, or 180 days in jail.
“They are saying that it may hit everyone personally. You would do anything in your power to save a life. I mean, that’s just human nature. But being irresponsible like continuing to not social distance and being irresponsible by throwing parties is not what we need to be doing right now," said Copeland.
Monday afternoon, Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller signed an Executive Order limiting the amount of customers to 20 percent capacity in the stores and businesses that remain open.
“We’ll get through this," said Fuller. “We’ve gotten through tornadoes. We’ve gotten through hurricanes. We’ve gotten through recessions. We’ve gotten through all kinds of things, but a strong community like Opelika, we’ll be fine. We’ve just got to be patient. Got to be calm.”
The occupancy limitations in Opelika stores goes into effect Wednesday at 7 a.m. Fuller said each store is asked to assign an employee to be at the door to count the number of customers entering and leaving the store. They’re also asked to have employees monitoring inside the store make sure customers are maintaining the correct distance from one another, especially at the check out line.
The curfews and store occupancy limitation will be in effect until further notice.