Proclamation – March 13, 2020
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Governor Merrill issued a proclamation on March 13, 2020, address the following issues related to the coronavirus and COVID-19:
- Alternative standards of care
- Mandatory compliance
- Price gouging
- School closures
- State-Government office closures
- Waiver of certain federal hours of service requirements
Alternative standard of care
The proclamation authorizes health care facilities that have invoked their emergency operation plans to implement the alternative standards of care provisions contained in those plans in response to the coronavirus and COVID-19. The proclamation then extends the definition of the required standard of care required of health care facilities as set forth in Alabama laws to include the alternative standards of care implemented by health care facilities. It also declared all health care professionals and assisting personnel that were executing alternative standards of care to be emergency management workers for purposes of liability laws.
The proclamation requires any individual suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 to comply with instructions given or communicated to them by the State Health Officer or his designee.
The proclamation places citizens on notice that in Alabama it is illegal for any individual to sell or rent any product or commodity or rental facility at unconscionable prices.
The proclamation directs school systems that are closed because of COVID-19 to appeal the State Superintendent of Education for relief in meeting student day or teacher day obligations. It also directed that no teacher should suffer a loss of income.
State-government office closures
The proclamation authorizes state offices to close if directed to do so by the Governor.
Waiver of certain federal hours of service requirements
The proclamation waives regulations of the US Department of Transportation-Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) relating to emergency or disaster-related materials, supplies, goods, and services. It sets the termination of the waiver to be the earliest of:
- the conclusion of the motor carrier’s or driver’s direct assistance in providing emergency relief;
- 30 days from the initial declaration of emergency;
- the issuance of a proclamation terminating the state of emergency; or
- any other time dictated by the FMCSA’s regulations.