MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAFF) - Governor Kay Ivey extended Alabama’s mask mandate Thursday morning.
In a press conference with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, the Governor announced the order will run through April 9. No further mask mandate is expected following the end of the newest order.
Here are a few of the notable updates to the order:
- This mask extension is designed to allow businesses ample time to implement policies of their own and make any adjustments they would like ahead of April 9.
- In restaurants, this change removes the seating limit of eight at tables.
- In senior citizen centers, outdoor programs will now be allowed at the centers. Also, the Department of Senior Services is allowed to write guidelines for outdoor programs the centers would need to follow.
- In hospitals and similar institutions, the change raises from a maximum of one to a maximum of two caregivers permitted to accompany someone in a hospital at any one time or in a nursing home, subject to reasonable restrictions imposed because of the local COVID-19 situation and other factors.
The mask ordinance, which has been in effect since July 2020, was set to expire Friday, March 5.
The Alabama Hospital Association urged the Governor to extend the ordinance. Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth asked the governor to allow the mandate to expire.
Ainsworth said, “I urge Gov. Kay Ivey to immediately lift the statewide mask mandate and allow citizens and local officials the liberty to make the decisions that best fit their circumstances. Rescinding the blanket mask order and lifting capacity restrictions and other limitations will also send the loud, clear, and unmistakable message that Alabama is once again fully open for business.”
Read about the Governor’s last update on January 21, 2021.
Governor Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris held a news conference, at 11 a.m. Thursday, January 21.
Governor Ivey extended the Safer At Home order, as well as the statewide mask mandate.
All components of the ‘safer at home’ order that was previously in place remain in place. The order, including the statewide mask mandate, will expire March 5th, 2021 at 5 p.m.
Dr. Harris says the state health department is aware of the issues with vaccine distribution. He says the online vaccine portal will roll out within the next few days. Dr. Harris also said Walmart will provide COVID-19 vaccines in the near future, however he did not share a date or timeline. He hopes adding providers will help to speed up distribution.