Alabama Events Canceled, Attractions Close Amid Coronavirus Fears

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Travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport wearing facemasks on March 6th, 2020 as the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads throughout the United States.

Chad Davis, Flickr

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many closures and event cancellations across the state.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville announced it will close for three weeks.

“Due to the ever-changing situation with the COVID-19 virus and out of an abundance of caution, the Rocket Center is closing the museum through Friday, April 3, to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus,” leaders said in a statement today.

NASCAR and IndyCar both pumped the brakes on racing this weekend. IndyCar officials said they will delay the start to the season through the end of April, canceling races in cities including Birmingham, Long Beach, Austin and St. Petersburg.

“Although we are disappointed to delay the start to this IndyCar season, the safety of our fans, participants, staff, partners, and media will always remain our top priority,” officials said in a statement.

Officials with the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America announced they will postpone their annual American Values Luncheon scheduled for March 19th because of concerns around the spread of the novel coronavirus. The event was set to take place at the BJCC with keynote speaker NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.

“The Greater Alabama Council feels that it is the appropriate and responsible step to take to ensure the safety and welfare of the community and of the guests and honorees of the event,” a spokesman said in a statement this week.

The Southern Foodways Alliance will also postpone its event later this month. The SFA was set to hold its Spring Symposium in Birmingham on March 28th. According to the group’s website, the event is postponed “based on advice from the infectious disease department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.”

Among other cancelations, Birmingham’s soccer team has suspended play. Birmingham Legion FC announced today the decision to suspend the 2020 season for a minimum of 30 days.

The Birmingham Legion was set to take on the Charleston Battery on March 15th. Officials say the club is currently working to reschedule both home games in March for a later date.

The Birmingham Barons season opener will be delayed. Minor League Baseball decided to delay the start of the 2020 Championship season following an announcement from Major League Baseball officials to suspend spring training.

Meanwhile, the Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema is taking precautions. The cinema continues to be open for business but all live events have been canceled. The cinema has set a list of guidelines for patrons to ensure their health and safety while enjoying a film. In a statement this week, Sidewalk says it has reduced capacity to 40% to “increase the physical space between patrons within the theaters.”

Birmingham’s Levite Jewish Community Center has canceled senior fitness classes until further notice.

Health officials say the current risk level of COVID-19 in Birmingham is low. Alabama reported its first case of coronavirus in Montgomery today.

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