Gov. Kay Ivey extends Safer at Home order
By Josh Boutwell
At a June 30 press conference, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that her Safer at Home order will be extended through July 31.
The original order was scheduled to expire on July 3 but has now been expanded through 5 p.m. on July 31.
While no new guidelines were added to the order, Ivey and State Health Official Dr. Scott Harris urged Alabamians to follow social distancing guidelines.
“This is an unprecedented year not only for our state but our entire country and the world,” Ivey said. “We have lost family and friends to a new aggressive deadly virus. People that have never filed for unemployment have experienced pain and loss of their jobs. Our citizens are hurting in multiple ways.”
Harris said that while the state has continued to expand testing – which would account for additional positive cases – the percentage of positive tests has also continued to rise, as well.
“We’ve had more than 10,000 cases in the last 14 days,” Harris said. “That makes up over 10 percent of our cases total.”
Harris also said that there are currently 275 open ICU beds statewide and Ivey said that it is important that residents realize that the state is still battling the virus.
“The fact is we are not back to normal,” Ivey emphasized. “We are still in the thick of this deadly disease. We must continue to maintain a six-foot social distance, stay at home as much as possible unless you need to get out to go to work or for necessities and when you are in public, for goodness sakes, wear a mask.”
Ivey and Harris emphasized the importance of wearing a mask in public but Ivey said that there were no plans to force a statewide mask ordinance and admitted that it would be difficult to enforce anyway.
“It would be next to impossible to enforce such a thing,” Ivey said. “You shouldn’t have to force someone to do what is best for everyone, though.”
Businesses, beaches, restaurants and activities that reopened under the Safer at Home order will be allowed to remain open as long as sanitization and social distancing guidelines continue to be followed.
For more information on the Safer at Home order, visit https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/06/GKI-0040-2020-Health-Order-Update-Ends-July-31-Vertical-Info-Sheet-FNL.pdf.