Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey extends mask mandate, lifts other restrictions
By Josh Boutwell
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey spoke to the media on March 4 announcing that she was lifting some COVID-19 related restrictions and extending the statewide mask mandate through April 9.
While the mask mandate will go through April 9, Ivey said that she would not be extending it further past that.
“There is no question that wearing masks has been one of our greatest tools in preventing the spread of this virus,” Ivey said. “Even after the mandate is lifted I will continue to wear my mask when I am around others but it will be a personal choice after April 9.”
Ivey said that businesses that choose to continue mask policies will be allowed to institute those after April 9 but it would not be a government mandate.
Ivey also pointed to the steep decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state in the past month. Ivey said that Alabama has seen an 82 percent drop in positive cases since January and a 77 percent drop in hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
“This is a definite indication that we are moving in the right direction,” Ivey said. “I want to thank the people of Alabama for their tremendous support to get us where we are.”
Ivey also announced that she was rolling back several other COVID-19 related restrictions, including seating limitations at restaurants as of March 6. Restaurants, bars and breweries will have no limit on party size at tables but will be required to maintain a six-feet distance between tables.
Also, the restrictions on summer camps have been lifted allowing summer camps to take place effective March 6.
Senior citizen centers will also be allowed to hold outdoor programs effective March 8 and patients will be allowed visits of two caregivers at hospitals and nursing homes effective March 6.
Ivey also addressed the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Alabama and revealed that more than 1 million doses have been administered thus far .
“We still do not have enough vaccine for everyone that wants a shot,” Ivey said. “Please be patient as more vaccines arrive every day.”
Ivey also had a request for Alabamians.
“I can’t tell you how many people have reached out to me asking how they can help,” Ivey said. “One big way you can help – and everyone can do this – is to remember the golden rule: look out for your friends and neighbors.
“If you have an elderly neighbor that maybe isn’t as (tech) savvy as you, help them to make an appointment (for a vaccination). If you have a neighbor that needs a ride to get a vaccine, help them out.”