Picnic tables quickly end but may return

By ED HOWELL
Posted 3/19/20

The City of Jasper attempted to put out picnic tables on the courthouse square as nearby restaurants had to stick to take-out due to the cornonavirus - but state officials ended the practice very quickly.

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Picnic tables quickly end but may return

Posted

The City of Jasper attempted to put out picnic tables on the courthouse square as nearby restaurants had to stick to take-out due to the coronavirus - but state officials ended the practice very quickly.

The Alabama Department of Public Health had issued an order Tuesday that food or drinks could not be consumed on site at restaurants for one week in Jefferson County and surrounding counties, including Walker County to combat the spread of the virus. 

A number of downtown restaurants on Wednesday had Jasper Main Street signs saying curbside delivery was available. 

City officials put out picnic tables Wednesday on the courthouse square in order so diners could pick up meals from restaurants just off the square and eat outside. 

By about 2 p.m., the City of Jasper posted on Facebook that the Walker County Health Department felt the "picnic tables on the square do NOT comply with the Governor's directive to avoid congregating in large groups. We are having these picked up this afternoon." 

The statement nevertheless noted city officials got a "very positive response" to the idea and that it may be looked permanently in the future. 

"We are sorry for any inconvenience. The city will comply with all directives during this time of difficulty, and in no way intended to be contrary to the health department orders," the statement said.  

Mike Putman, the executive director of Jasper Main Street, thanked the city and Mayor David O'Mary in a posted reply for trying to help the restaurants.