MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey in a press conference Thursday extended Alabama’s Safer at Home Order, including the statewide mask requirement, through Friday, Oct. 2, 2020 at 5 p.m. She was joined by State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.
“Today, with the support of Dr. Harris, I am extending the Safer at Home Order for another five weeks. As for today’s new order, this will include extended our statewide mask ordinance through Friday, Oct. 2,” Ivey said. “Folks, I understand you don’t want to wear the mask. I don’t either. My glasses fog up, I can’t understand what people are saying cause of the muffled effect that the masks have on conversations. I wish we didn’t have to wear masks, but we have seen significant drops in our hospitalizations and daily positive COVID-19 numbers, and I have no doubt that this is a result of our mask ordinance. Wearing a mask is simply the right thing to do. When you wear a mask, you are protecting the people in your office, church, school and your vulnerable family and friends.”
Harris said Alabama has seen almost 120,000 cases, just past 14,000 hospitalizations and almost 2,000 deaths from COVID-19; however, he said he is cautiously optimistic right now.
“Since the governor’s mask mandate went into effect, we have definitely seen improvements in our daily numbers of new cases,” he said. “The numbers of deaths are declining- the daily average number of deaths are declining- the number of hospitalizations have declined significantly and are as low as they’ve been since before the 4th of July holiday. On top of that, the percentage of tests we’ve seen that are positive has also declined from almost 17% in mid-July down to around 8 % now, so all those are indicating that we have less transmission going on in the community. We believe the mask mandate is the reason for that.”
Harris was emphatic, saying it’s important to be vigilant now with schools back in session and Labor Day weekend coming up. He also encouraged everyone older than 6 months to get a flu shot this season.
“We’re making such good progress doing what we’ve been doing,” said Ivey. “We need to keep it up, especially because we’re coming into, quote, a holiday weekend. The temptation to gather in crowds of more than 10 is upon us, and we just need to be extra cautious, y’all. We’ve made a lot of progress. We don’t want to lose any of the ground that we’ve already made. It’d be a whole lot harder to have to extend stronger orders than it will to continue what we’ve been doing because what we’ve been doing is showing success.”
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