MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey has extended Alabama’s ‘safer at home’ health order, including a mask mandate, to March 5 as the state continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
In extending the order, Ivey highlighted the seriousness Alabama currently finds itself in. As of last week, she explained, the state had just 39 ICU beds available due to the proliferation of the pandemic.
This is Gov. 22nd supplemental SOE proclamation as it relates to COVID-19. Here is a general breakdown, according to the governor’s office, of what is included:
- Section 1: Extending the statewide “Safer at Home” health order. The proclamation extends the current state health order through 5 p.m. on March 5 but no substantive changes have been made to the order’s requirements.
- Section 2: Administration of municipal elections. The proclamation grants flexibility to municipalities conducting elections in recruiting poll workers and in administering poll-worker training. In so doing, it extends similar provisions issued for the Aug. 25, 2020 municipal elections to other municipal elections conducted during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Section 3: Administration of state elections. The proclamation grants similar flexibility in recruiting poll workers and in administering poll-worker training to probate judges conducting state elections (such as special legislative elections). As in the case of municipal elections, the proclamation extends election-administration measures that were previously issued for specific elections to other state elections conducted during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Ivey made the announcement to extend the order Thursday in a news conference with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.
Harris, speaking on the state’s slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, said the Alabama Department of Public Health hears everyone who is upset they cannot get the vaccine. He stressed that ADPH is working as quickly as possible to get shots in arms and that everyone will ultimately be able to get one.
Harris added that county health departments have been ordered to vaccinate all day, everyday until they run out and added that ADPH is surveying all providers to see their exact supply. Harris said if a provider isn’t using their vaccine it will be redistributed to other locations.
Ivey put the health order into place in July and has issued several extensions in the months since. The latest extension comes just before the health order was set to expire on Jan. 22.
Wednesday, Alabama added 3,211 new cases of the virus with a seven-day average of 2,665. So far this week, 9,073 cases have been confirmed.
ADPH’s COVID-19 Dashboard reported 157 deaths on Wednesday with 6,283 deaths overall.