Alabama Governor Kay Ivey will hold a press conference Thursday at 11 a.m. M. To provide an update on the state mask order. The press conference comes a day before the expiration of the health order that requires covering the face in public places.
Ivey has not indicated whether he plans to extend the order, first implemented in July during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hours earlier, a spokesman for Ivey indicated that she “preferred personal responsibility to government mandates.”
“All along, Governor Ivey has made it clear that she prefers personal responsibility to government mandates. We are optimistic that our state is heading in the right direction and we still have work to do, ”Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola told AL.com.
Unless Ivey extends it, the order requiring face covering in public areas and schools will expire at 5 p.m. Friday The order has been extended multiple times as COVID case numbers and hospitalizations have risen in the state.
Those numbers have declined in recent weeks even as vaccination numbers have risen. To date, Alabama has administered 944,795 coronavirus vaccines and those numbers are expected to continue to rise as the Johnson and Johnson one-dose vaccine reaches the state.
If Ivey allows the mask order to expire, it will be against the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control.
“Things are weak,” said Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at a briefing at the White House last week, adding that declines in cases “may be stagnant.” in a “very disturbing change in trajectory.”
“Now is not the time to relax restrictions,” he added.
To date, Alabama has reported 497,154 coronavirus cases with 10,029 deaths. Of those cases, 285,130 are presumed to have recovered. There are currently 631 people hospitalized in Alabama with the virus.
According to the CDC, 663,000 Alabama residents, or 13.5 percent, have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.
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