Alabama’s COVID state of emergency ends Tuesday

It ends July 6.
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 9:40 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The official state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic expires Tuesday, July 6, per Governor Kay Ivey.

She is not declaring Tuesday the end of the pandemic, just the end of the state of emergency itself which is an act a governor can put into action to focus the state’s priorities on the emergency at hand. Governor Ivey announced the end of most health orders back at the end of May, but Tuesday marks a formality.

Governor Ivey previously extended the state of emergency for COVID from May 7 until July 6 deeming there are significant “conditions of disaster or peril” due to the virus.

So what changes? Policies revert to pre-pandemic priorities. For instance, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners will now have to resume enforcing rules on controlled substances, including the rules pertaining to telemedicine, which had been flexible since last year.

Regardless of the policy changes, doctors want people to know COVID is not gone.

“There is a sense out there that we have won this battle, that we have crossed the goal line, I fear we are at risk of spiking the ball at the 5 yard line instead of getting it into the end zone because we haven’t gotten enough people vaccinated,” said former state health officer Dr. Don Williamson.

For comparison, we were still under the stay at home order this time last year, and a statewide mask order hadn’t even happened yet.

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