Statewide mask ordinance extended until October 2

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Gov. Kay Ivey and Dr. Scott Harris of ADPH at July’s press conference announcing an extension of the order. Photo Governor Kay Ivey

With the support of Dr. Scott Harris from the Alabama Department of Public Health, Governor Kay Ivey extended the current #SaferatHome order for five weeks. This will include extending Alabama’s statewide mask ordinance until Friday, October 2.

Mandatory Masks extended until October

Birmingham, mask, COVID-19, coronavirus, germs
Mask up, save lives. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

At a press conference today, August 27, Governor Kay Ivey thanked Alabama residents for their support and asked us all to hold on longer for the safety of ourselves and others. The extension is the seventeenth supplemental emergency proclamation containing an amended Safer at Home Order.

After the initial announcement, Governor Ivey expressed her understanding that no one wants to wear a mask. However, in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, it’s necessary. She also added the urge to wear a mask and stay six feet apart even at events that happen, “when the sun goes down”–noting specifically football games.

“Folks, I understand you don’t want to wear the mask—I don’t either. My glasses fog up, I can’t understand what people are saying because of the muffled effect that the masks have on conversations.

I wish we didn’t have to wear masks, but we are seeing significant drops in our hospitalizations and daily positive COVID-19 numbers, and I have no doubt that this is a result of our mask ordinance.”

Governor Ivey

Not just a mask extension

Governor Ivey also extended a long list of thanks to teachers and healthcare workers, recognizing the burden this places on them. Walt Maddox and the University of Alabama President Stuart Bell became topics in the press conference as Governor Ivey commended their leadership after deciding to shut down bars to stop the spread of COVID-19.

How do the numbers look?

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7-day Avg Cases By County as of August 27, 2020. Photo via bamatracker.com

In short—cautiously positive. But, the numbers will only continue to look better if we stay masked up, six feet apart and keep our coughs to ourselves.

“Wearing a mask is simply the right thing to do. When you’re wearing a mask you’re protecting the people in your office, church, school and your vulnerable family and friends.”

Governor Ivey

According to Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama has approached almost 120,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The state is also just past 14,000 hospitalizations with almost 2,000 confirmed and probable deaths.

So, the good news

“Given that (information), we are cautiously optimistic about what we’ve been seeing recently since the Governor’s mask mandate went into effect. We have definitely seen improvements in our daily number of new cases.”

Dr. Scott Harris

The number of hospitalizations has declined significantly and, according to Dr. Harris, are as low as they’ve been since before the July 4th holiday. On top of that, the percentage of positive tests has declined from almost 17% in mid-July to around 8% now. Dr. Harris and Governor Ivey reiterated and emphasized several times that they believe these numbers are in direct correlation with the mask ordinance.

Looking for masks? We’ve got several guides to help you out

https://www.instagram.com/p/CC8sHI9hVps/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=12&wp=492&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fbhamnow.com&rp=%2F2020%2F07%2F29%2Fstatewide-mask-ordinance-extended-until-august-31st-required-for-2nd-graders-through-college-students%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A3011.4249999751337%7D

For more information, visit the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Website.

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Irene Richardson
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