By Zach Hester, Reporter • firstname.lastname@example.org
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — At a press conference this morning, Governor Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) extended the State of Alabama’s “Safer-at-Home” order, which includes a statewide mask mandate, until Friday, December 11.
The order was previously set to expire on Sunday evening.
Ivey announced she would relax some of the current restrictions of the “Safer-At-Home” order by rolling back restrictions on occupancy rates in stores and restaurants. Businesses will be able to resume normal rates of traffic in their facilities as long as social distancing and mask guidelines are followed.
“I know you can’t go on forever with a government mandate,” said Ivey. “Sooner rather than later, it’s going to be up to us to do the right thing whether you’re mandated to or not.”
In mid-July during a summer spike in new cases of COVID-19, Ivey announced the statewide mandate requiring masks for Alabamians when you are within six feet of another person outside your household, a vehicle operated by a transportation service, or an outdoor public space where 10 or more people are gathered.
The order defines "mask" as any covering that covers both the nose and mouth. Exceptions for the order include practical necessities defined by the Alabama Department of Public Health, some exercise, and voting or religious worship, though masks are encouraged in all of these scenarios as well.
Alabama State Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris delivered an update on COVID-19 numbers. As of Thursday morning, the State of Alabama had almost 200,000 cases with 3,026 deaths. 84,471 Alabamians are labeled as “presumed recoveries.” In DeKalb County, 3,790 cases have been reported since March 13 with 31 deaths county-wide.
For more information, please visit alabamapublichealth.gov.