MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP/WIAT) — At the urging of health officials, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has extended a state mask order that was set to expire Friday.
During a Thursday press conference, Ivey will announce her decision to extend the order to March 5 at 5 p.m. This is Governor Ivey’s 22nd supplemental state of emergency proclamation in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Here is a general breakdown of what is included in the new order:
- Section 1: Extending the statewide “Safer at Home” health order. The proclamation extends the current state health order through 5:00 p.m. on March 5. 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 August 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.
Dr. Don Williamson heads the Alabama Hospital Association. He says the group was among those recommending an extension due to the high numbers of hospitalizations in the state.
Alabama this week began making vaccines available to people 75 and older in addition to health care workers and first-responders. State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris says the biggest obstacle to vaccination is the available supply.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.