Ivey to end Alabama’s COVID-19 public health order May 31

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Alabama Gov Kay Ivey announces that a statewide mask order will be extended through Oct. 2, 2020 during a press conference at the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. Ivey said the state is seeing a drop in COVID-19 cases and that the requirement to wear masks will keep the numbers moving downward. (Kim Chandler/Associated Press)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama’s COVID-19 public health order will end at the end of this month, with the state of emergency ending a little over a month later, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Monday.

The health order will expire May 31, and the state of emergency will end July 6.

Ivey said in a statement that infection rates and hospitalizations are “in better shape,” with more than 1.5 million Alabamians receiving at least one shot of a vaccine.

“Alabamians have consistently stepped up to the plate over the course of this pandemic, and I know they will continue to do so,” Ivey said. “I am pleased that we have shown the rest of the country that we are gritty and determined. We are signaling loud and clear that Alabama is open, and we are moving forward.”

The state’s order mandating people to wear masks in public places expired April 9.

The current “safer apart” health order is mostly recommendations aligned with CDC guidance but also directs nursing homes, hospitals and senior citizen centers to follow some specific guidelines on visitation set by other agencies. Those guidelines will expire May 31 with the health order, according to Ivey’s office.

Ivey also encouraged Alabamians age 16 and older to get vaccinated.

“Look, I have been vaccinated,” Ivey said. “I believe in the science, believe that it works and have confidence in it. So, like I said, I have been fully vaccinated, and I will live like I have been fully vaccinated. Similar to when we ended the mask requirement, this final extension gives all Alabama health care providers, businesses and individuals adequate time to make preparations.”

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