MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - Governor Kay Ivey announced Wednesday Alabama is now the next state to have a mask order.
The governor amended the Safer at Home order to include “Masks required in public when interacting within 6 feet with people of another household, subject to certain exceptions.”
When do I have to wear a mask? You have to wear a mask when you are in public and in close contact with other people. Specifically, the order says to wear a mask when you are within six feet of a person from another household in any of the following places: (a) an indoor space open to the public; (b) a vehicle operated by a transportation service; and (c) an outdoor public space where ten or more people are gathered.
How long will the new mask requirement be in effect? The new mask requirement goes into effect Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. It is currently set to expire on July 31, 2020.
Gov. Kay Ivey held a news conference with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris to give an update on COVID-19 in Alabama.
Governor Kay Ivey started by sharing new COVID-19 case numbers. Ivey said, “Here’s the bottom line, overnight we added 2,141 new cases.” “Folks the numbers just do not lie.”
The governor said she knows this will be a difficult order to enforce, but she said the COVID-19 case numbers are trending in the wrong direction.
She said she would prefer people do the right thing and take personal responsibility to wear a mask. Ivey said, “Personal responsibility is everyone’s responsibility.”
Ivey said, “Do the right thing and wear a mask.” She said with everyone’s cooperation we can slow down the spread of the virus.
Dr. Scott Harris said Alabama has added more than 18,000 cases in the past two weeks alone and he said it’s not because of testing.
Harris said we have more disease circulating in our communities. Thirty hospitals in Alabama now have either 30 percent or no ICU beds at this time.
Harris said the economy won’t shut down again if we’ll cooperate, and wear masks and socially distance.
Harris said people will be upset to be told to do anything but this health order is meant to keep folks safe.
On June 30 Ivey extended her Safer at Home order through July.
There is a penalty of up to $500 and/or jail time for not wearing a mask, but Governor Ivey said the goal is not to have to enforce the penalty. She said the goal is just to wear a mask.
White House Task Force leader Dr. Deborah Birx will meet with Governor Ivey and state health leaders about Alabama’s increase in COVID-19 cases.
As of Wednesday morning, Alabama has 58,225 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,183 deaths. There have been more than 18,000 positive tests in the last 14 days. 25,783 people have recovered.
Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth released the following response: