Governor Ivey Extends Safer at Home Order and Statewide Mask Mandate Until April 9
She made it clear that she will not keep the order in effect after April 9. This will be the last mask order extension. She says this extension is to allow businesses time to implement their own policies and make any adjustments they want ahead of April 9.
Ivey acknowledged that other states are ending their statewide mask mandates, such as Texas and Mississippi. But she says that she and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris want to get the state through the Easter holiday and allow more people to receive vaccinations.
Ivey says the 7-day average of new cases in Alabama is now 778, down 82% since the high on January 10, and the lowest since last June. She says the 7-day average of hospitalizations is 686, down 77% since the high on January 11, and the lowest since June 29.
This week, the state marked two milestones: 1 million people who have received their first vaccine, and 10,000 people who have died since the start of the pandemic.
While the mask order will remain in effect through April 9, there are some changes being made.
The following changes come with this Extended Safer at Home Order:
— In restaurants: the change would REMOVE the seating limit of eight at tables
— In senior citizen centers: outdoor programs will be allowed at the centers. Also, the Department of Senior Services would be allowed to write guidelines for outdoor programs the centers would have to follow
— In hospitals and similar institutions: the change would raise 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