Alabama’s Safer at Home Order, which includes a mask-wearing requirement in public spaces, has been extended for another five weeks, Gov. Kay Ivey announced in a press conference today.
The Safer at Home Order is now set to expire on Oct. 2 but can be extended again in the future. The order was set to expire on Aug. 31 prior to Ivey’s press conference.
Ivey recognized that while many in the state do not want to wear masks, the mask requirement has helped lower COVID-19 numbers across the state.
"If not for yourselves, do it for your family and friends,” Ivey said. “We all want to get back to normal, and wearing a mask is the way to do that."
Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama state health officer, joined Ivey in the press conference. Alabama has now approached 120,000 individual cases of COVID-19, Harris said. He explicitly stated that this is the number of individuals, not positive tests, that have been recorded in the state.
Harris also mentioned that COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations and positivity rate have all declined since the mask mandate went into effect on July 15. Around 17% of all COVID tests in July came back positive and have since declined to around 8% now, Harris said.
Ivey also mentioned college football during the press conference and did not indicate a future season cancellation. She seemed to expect games to still occur in the fall so long as people continue to wear their masks.
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At the end of the press conference, Ivey commended the City of Tuscaloosa for choosing to close its bars, and also applauded businesses who choose to do so voluntarily. She also stated the following shortly before: “The last thing I want to do is have to close businesses.”
The press conference, held on Facebook Live, lasted about 17 minutes total.
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