Top Headlines: Ivey focuses on data and testing to determine reopening, Montgomery County freezes hiring, cuts budgets

Second relief package making its way through Congress
The Senate passed a roughly $480 billion relief package Tuesday that includes hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding for small businesses hurt by the coronavirus outbreak along with other priorities like money for hospitals and expanded COVID-19 testing. The Senate passed the package by a voice vote, meaning most senators would not need to return to Washington, DC, during the pandemic. The bill goes to the House, which is expected to vote on the package Thursday. – CNN

Ivey says reopening to be based on data and more testing
Gov. Kay Ivey said she wants to see an increase in COVID-19 testing before she reopens the state’s economy. At a press conference Tuesday, Ivey said less than 1% of Alabama has been tested for the virus, but she said that’s not enough. “All my decisions I’m going to make are based on data, not a desired date,” Ivey said. – WBHM

Montgomery County freezes hiring, cuts budgets, may have layoffs
Montgomery County Commissioner Ronda Walker says the county may have to reduce its workforce as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. She tells Alabama News Network the county is expected to lose millions in revenue this year. Walker says the county commission has implemented a hiring freeze, asked all county departments to cut their current budgets by 10% and halted all county travel. – AL NewsNet

Airbus remains committed to A220 production schedule in Alabama
Airbus is sticking with production plans for its newest jet, the A220 narrow-body, in Alabama even as it has put the brakes on output in Canada as the coronavirus decreases demand across the European planemaker’s lineup of aircraft. A plan to accelerate output toward 10 a month from the current four at the main A220 plant in Mirabel, Quebec, will be postponed until mid-2021, an Airbus spokeswoman said. – AL NewsCenter

UAB opens new COVID-19 clinic in Birmingham
Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 now have a new clinic option for treatment. The University of Alabama at Birmingham opened the COVID Respiratory Clinic. The new clinic is located in the Regions Bank building on Richard Arrington Blvd. It is opened Monday through Friday afternoon from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Patients will first complete a telehealth or phone visit with a UAB Medicine provider, such as a Family Medicine or Prime Care provider. – WBMA

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Summer’s coming – what does that mean for Alabama amusement parks?
Business is continuing at Birmingham’s Alabama Splash Adventure as it normally would this time of year. Employees are cleaning, performing maintenance and landscaping ahead of the usually busy summer season, and expecting bright, clear spring days to be effective advertising for the summer ahead. But coronavirus pandemic measures have made the picture much murkier, as they have for many other businesses around the nation. –

Birmingham Olive Garden location closes
A Birmingham location of Olive Garden has closed. The restaurant, at 7701 Crestwood Blvd., shut its doors this week. Its Facebook page also states the location is “permanently closed,” and the location is no longer listed on the corporate website. Employees received severance pay. The chain still maintains locations in Hoover, Trussville and Alabaster. –

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