Timeline of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic

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This is a Timeline of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, documenting the chronology of local events and responses to the global Coronavirus pandemic.

December 2019

  • The emergence of a new viral epidemic was reported in the city of Wuhan in China's Hubei Province.

January 2020

  • January 20: China confirmed that the SARS-CoV-2 had been transmitted from human to human.
  • January 20: The first COVID-19 patient in the United States, a US citizen who had traveled to Wuhan, was reported in Seattle, Washington.
  • January 29: A White House Coronavirus Task Force was assembled, primarily to plan travel restrictions for Chinese nationals while evacuating US citizens from China.

February 2020

  • February 26: Vice President Mike Pence replaced HHS Secretary Alex Azar as head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

March 2020

  • March 2: 100 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the United States.
  • March 68: The 2020 Bassmaster Classic was held at the BJCC.
    • March 11: The World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a worldwide pandemic.
  • March 13: The first confirmed COVID-19 case in Alabama was reported.
    • March 13: Governor Kay Ivey declared a statewide emergency and ordered all public K-12 schools to be closed.
  • March 15: 22 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across Alabama, with 12 in Jefferson County.
    • March 16: Jefferson County and the City of Birmingham declared emergencies.
    • March 16: Jefferson County Health Officer Mark Wilson announced rules restricting nursing home visitors, barring on-premises service at restaurants and bars, and closing private schools and pre-schools. His order also made it mandatory to obtain a permit to host an event with more than 25 attendees.
    • March 17: The Alabama Department of Public Health suspended on-premises food and beverage service for Blount, Shelby, St Clair, Tuscaloosa, and Walker counties.
    • March 19: Governor Ivey expanded the suspension of on-premises food and beverage service statewide, and also closed the state's beaches.
    • March 19: Jefferson County ordered that all nonessential businesses and services to close the following evening, and prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people.
    • March 20: The Alabama State Department of Corrections suspended transfer of inmates from county jails to state prisons.
    • March 24: The City of Birmingham passed a "Shelter in Place" ordinance establishing a city-wide curfew against lingering or congregating in public, with exceptions for essential business. Some public parks were barricaded to aid in enforcement of the curfew.
    • March 26: The state of Alabama announced that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the Spring.
    • March 27: Governor Ivey issued an order closing non-essential businesses and limiting non-work gatherings to no more than 10 people statewide.

April 2020

  • April 1: 1,106 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across Alabama, with 305 in Jefferson County.
    • April 3: Governor Ivey announced a statewide "Shelter in Place" rule requiring individuals to remain at home except when carrying out specific essential activities
  • April 15: 4,241 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across the state, with 628 in Jefferson County
    • April 21: Governor Ivey announced that the state's "Shelter in Place" order would remain in force through the end of the month.
    • April 24: UAB began administering antibody tests to screen candidates for a study of convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19.
    • April 28: The Birmingham City Council passed an ordinance requiring people to cover their nose and mouth with some type of mask while in public.
    • April 28: Governor Ivey announced a "Safer at Home" order to take effect on May 1, loosening restriction on some businesses and elective medical procedures and partially re-opening beaches. The order included a recommendation to wear face coverings.
    • April 30: The Birmingham City Council relaxed the city's curfew hours to remain in effect from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM only.

May 2020

  • May 1: 7,294 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across the state, with 929 in Jefferson County
    • May 5: A KC-135R Stratotanker from the 117th Air Refueling Wing performed a fly-over of area medical centers as part of "Operation American Resolve".
    • May 8: Governor Ivey announced that restrictions on gatherings, including at churches, would be lifted; and allowing restaurants, bars, fitness centers, barber shops and salons to reopen; with precautions to maintain distancing and sanitation.
    • May 12: Two C-130 "Hercules" transports from the 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery performed a fly-over of area medical centers as part of "Operation American Resolve".
  • May 15: 11,373 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across the state, with 1,258 in Jefferson County
    • May 15: Birmingham's "Shelter in Place" curfew expired.
    • May 21: Governor Ivey further relaxed statewide shutdowns, allowing entertainment and sports venues, and child-care centers to reopen with hygiene and distancing procedures in place.
    • May 22: The Jefferson County Department of Health issued an order keeping entertainment venues closed.
    • May 29: The Birmingham City Council extended the city's mask ordinance to June 12.

June 2020

  • June 1: 18,246 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across the state, with 1,859 in Jefferson County
  • June 15: 25,892 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across the state, with 2,537 in Jefferson County
    • June 2229: Automatic Seafood and Oysters, Black Market Bar & Grill, Fancy's on 5th, Five, Chez Fonfon, Mayawell, Melt, and Trim Tab's taproom all announced temporary closures due to staff members testing positive for COVID-19.
    • June: A 5-member support team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control began assisting the Alabama Department of Public Health to improve the state's reporting, analysis and communication of COVID-19 information.
    • June 29: The Jefferson County Department of Health ordered the use of face coverings inside public spaces, including stores, bars and restaurants, and on public transit. (link)
    • June 30: Alabama's "Safer at Home" order was extended to July 31.

July 2020

  • July 1: 38,442 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across the state, with 4,387 in Jefferson County.
    • July 3: Birmingham's mask order expired, and the city fell under the jurisdiction of the County's mask order.
    • July 10: ADPH changed from using the state's disease surveillance system (requiring manual entry) to the automatically updated Alabama Incident Management System to calculate the cumulative number of hospitalizations for COVID-19. The changeover resulted in an immediate jump in the number of hospitalizations, from 3,089 to 6,745.
  • July 15: 58,225 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across the state, with 7,449 in Jefferson County.
    • July 16: Governor Kay Ivey issued a statewide order requiring face coverings, to supersede all local orders and to continue through the end of July.
    • July 22: Interim Birmingham City Schools superintendent Mark Sullivan announced that the system would postpone in-person classes in the fall for at least 9 weeks.
    • July 26: The Alabama Beverage Control Board issued a 120-day order restricting on-premises alcohol sales to before 11:00 PM.
    • July 29: Governor Ivey extended the statewide mask order to August 31, and specified that it included students in classrooms in 2nd grade or above. She also announced that no statewide order would prevent schools that planned to re-open under current orders from doing so.
    • July 29: The Alabama Department of Public Health released an 85-page guidebook for safely reopening K-12 schools.

August 2020

September 2020

  • September 1: 118,134 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across the state (and another 9,482 "probable" cases reported), with 16,072 (+607) of those in Jefferson County.
  • September 15: 126,813 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across the state (and another 13,347 "probable" cases reported), with 17,597 (+784) of those in Jefferson County.