In a press conference today Gov. Kay Ivey extended Alabama's Safer at Home order for another six weeks.
Previously the statewide health order, which includes a mask mandate, was set to expire on Dec. 11, but it has now been extended to Jan. 22.
Ivey urged citizens to continue to follow the protocols and stay vigilant in wearing masks to ensure others' safety.
“Continue to wear your mask, wash your hands and sanitize your personal spaces as much as possible,” Ivey said. “If you're experiencing symptoms, please go get tested and refrain from interacting with others.”
Ivey also discussed how important the mask mandate has been in allowing us to maintain a sense of normality.
“The mask mandate remains the one thing that keeps the balance in our daily lives in maintaining our health and safety,” Ivey said. “The only limitation on us that is left is the mask so I ask everyone as we strive to get back to normal and until the vaccine begins to be rolled out to the most vulnerable populations that we don't just flip the switch and mentally move on from taking precautions. Please continue to be considerate to the vulnerable members of your family and those you work with.”
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Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama state health officer, spoke with Ivey during the press conference.
"In Alabama we've reached new numbers of hospitalizations," Harris said. "We are right around 2100 people who are in-patients."
Harris also discussed the progress of the vaccine and his confidence in it.
“We do have some cause for optimism with the rollout of the vaccine,” Harris said. “We expect Alabama will probably receive a vaccine product sometime early next week. If the approval process goes like we think with the FDA and the ACIP [we will have the vaccine] in our state early next week.”
Harris said that he will have full confidence in the vaccine if it is approved by the FDA and ACIP. He said he will take it himself and recommends everyone else take it.
Harris discussed more about the vaccine and the approach they will take.
“Once the hospitals get the vaccines and we have the recommendations from the ACIP we will be ready to give shots into arms hopefully that day," Harris said. "The hospitals will be keeping a portion for their own staff and also others in the top priority group.”
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