Tag: Gov. Kay Ivey
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, citing the statewide drop in COVID-19 numbers, today extended her mandatory mask-wearing order until Oct. 1.
The governor said she knows wearing a mask is not popular. “I don’t want to wear a mask, either. I can’t understand what people are saying when they are muffled behind a mask, and masks make my glasses fog up,” she said.
But, she said, the protection is needed at this time. “To get to normal, wear a mask,” she said. She extended her Safer at Home order during a press conference Thursday morning to continue the mask requirement and other restrictions that have been in force statewide for another five weeks.
Ivey also warned residents to be careful mixing with other households during upcoming Labor Day activities. Read more.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey extended a public health order Tuesday, which allows businesses, entertainment venues and beaches to operate provided they follow social distancing, sanitation and other guidelines, until July 31st.
The order would have expired Friday and comes as new coronavirus cases have risen sharply through June.
“While we are not overwhelmed yet, we should not think that because our summer feels more normal than our spring that we are back to normal,” Ivey said at a press conference Tuesday morning. “The fact is, folks, we are still in the thick of this virus, disease and it is deadly.” Read more.
Some governors have spent lots of time in front of the cameras talking about the coronavirus pandemic. New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has held daily press briefings. Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has been out front almost daily as well.
Meanwhile, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has been relatively quiet about COVID-19. That’s despite new cases increasing sharply around the state in June.
“I think we’ve all got to do a much better job of educating people top to bottom,” U.S. Sen. Doug Jones said in a press conference last week.
He said state leaders, not just the governor, should be talking about the pandemic. He added the message those leaders give should be based on science.
Gov. Kay Ivey has once again loosened restrictions on Alabama businesses, allowing the reopening of entertainment venues, child care facilities, student activities and educational institutions. Ivey’s “Amended Safer at Home” order, issued Thursday afternoon, will go into effect Friday at 5 p.m.
At a press conference announcing the order, Ivey cited economic stressors, such as a spike in unemployment, as a reason for easing restrictions.
She added: “You’ve got to have a balance between looking after the people’s health and the economic health. There has to be a balance.”
Some Alabama lawmakers say they still have questions about Gov. Kay Ivey’s possible selection of private companies to build three state prisons, a process that so far has largely excluded the Legislature.
Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, told Alabama Daily News he plans to send Ivey’s office a letter this week asking if contracting out prison services is an option she’s considering in bids recently submitted to the Alabama Department of Corrections.
“I’m just going to ask point blank,” Ward said. “I am going to be 100% opposed to privately run prisons. That’s a big policy shift that the Legislature should be involved in.”
MONTGOMERY — A week after a public dispute between Gov. Kay Ivey and members of the Legislature about who should control about $1.8 billion in federal coronavirus relief money, the governor on Thursday sent lawmakers a detailed proposal for allocating most of it.
The proposed expenditures include money for state agencies’ COVID-19 expenses, businesses, nonprofits and faith-based groups and technology and infrastructure expenses. Read more.
Acknowledging the balancing act between protecting the health of citizens and the health of the economy, Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson on Friday expressed concern about the state’s relaxing of restrictions put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Wilson did not issue a new emergency order for the county, but he issued a strong recommendation that people in Jefferson County refrain from having public gatherings of greater than 10 people, including worship services, for at least another two weeks after this weekend. He said he wants to see the effect of the governor’s new order.
The new Proceeding With Caution order, which Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday morning, allows restaurants, bars, athletic facilities and close-contact service providers such as nail salons and barber shops to reopen starting Monday. It also lifts the 10-person cap on non-work gatherings, but it stresses that people must maintain six feet between themselves and others from different households while in public. The new order expires May 22.
“We’re going to be opening a lot of things,” he said. “I’m very concerned that we could start to see an increase in disease.”
He wasn’t the only voice calling for caution as the state starts to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Other health care officials and government leaders expressed concern, most of them saying they also understand the need to get people back to work. Read more.
UPDATED — Restaurants, bars, athletic facilities and close-contact service providers such as nail salons and barber shops will be reopening in Alabama Monday.
Gov. Kay Ivey today amended her Safer-at-Home order and said she hopes to announce more re-openings by the middle of next week. The new order lifts the 10-person cap on non-work gatherings but states that people must maintain six feet between themselves and others from different households. This provision effectively allows churches to reopen, provided they can provide for social distancing. The same holds true for gatherings on Alabama’s beaches. The new order expires May 22.
“400,000+ unemployment claims have been filed w/ (the state labor department). These are innocent people whose lives have been turned upside down & it’s not their fault. We hear your voices, your frustrations, your fears. Today’s order will hopefully begin providing some hope again,” Ivey said on Twitter this morning.
Much of public life has been shut down in Alabama since April 3. Last week Ivey loosened restrictions to allow stores, businesses and beaches to open. The state’s cases of COVID-19 still are trending upward, with 355 new cases and 26 deaths Thursday alone.
In reaction, to Ivey’s announcement, Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson issued a strong recommendation that people refrain from having gatherings of more than 10 people for at least two weeks after this weekend to see what effect opening up the state more is going to have.
He said COVID-19 is still in the community. “I’m very concerned that we could start to see an increase in disease,” he said. Read more.
Alabama is officially restarting its economy – a bit.
The state’s Stay-at-Home order expired at 5 p.m. as a new Safer-at-Home order took its place, and the Shelter-in-Place order for the city of Birmingham expires at midnight.
But Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced Thursday afternoon that the city had instituted a curfew that begins each evening at 10:00 and ends the following morning at 5:00. Woodfin also reminded people that the city has a new law that beginning Friday requires people out in public to wear face coverings. Medical-grade masks are not required by the ordinance; scarves, bandanas or other fabrics will suffice.
As the state eases up on its emergency order, retail stores were cleared to open at 5 p.m. Thursday, if they choose. However, they must limit the shoppers allowed in to half or less of their maximum capacity, disinfect and allow room for customers to stay 6 feet or more away from each other.
Businesses, too, may reopen if they can ensure social distancing among workers. Elective medical procedures also may resume.
The state’s beaches are open, but gatherings of 10 people or more are still prohibited, and people still must stay 6 feet away from each other.
MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday announced her new “safer at home” order, which will allow a gradual reopening of parts of the state’s economy and will replace the current stay-at-home order that is set to expire at 5 p.m. Thursday.
This new order still encourages individuals to stay at home and social distance themselves from others whenever possible, but it allows retail stores to open as long as they remain at or below 50% their maximum occupancy rate and allow for social distancing. It also allows businesses to remain open provided they can ensure social distancing among workers
Elective medical procedures will now be allowed to resume, Ivey and State Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. The state’s beaches will also reopen, but gatherings of 10 people or more are still prohibited, and people still must stay 6 feet away from each other.
Ivey emphasized that this is just the first phase of a multi-phase process for reopening the state and urged Alabamians to keep taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously.
“We’re still seeing the virus spread and all of our people are susceptible to the infection,” Ivey said. “We must continue to be vigilant in our social distancing both today and for the foreseeable future.”
Entertainment venues and athletic facilities will still remain closed as well as close-contact services such as barber shops, hair salons, nail salons and tattoo shops. Bars still will be closed and restaurants still will be limited to delivery or curbside service.
Harris said that the relatively flat rate of new cases seen in recent days has been an encouraging factor in deciding to go forward with this first phase of reopening. Newly diagnosed cases in Alabama are now around 200 per day.
There has also been no shortage of ventilators, and ICU bed capacity and overall hospital capacity has not been strained, Harris said.
“It’s definitely reasonable to begin a reopening like this,” Harris said. “We do have adequate ICU beds and the ability to care for people within the four walls of the hospital and have not needed the alternative care sites that we had prepared for. So all these things are very encouraging to us.” Read more.