MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Gov. Kay Ivey’s mask mandate for the state of Alabama is set to expire this Friday, and Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth wants it to not be renewed any longer.
The mandate went into effect back in July 2020 to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state. It has continuously been renewed every month since.
Ainsworth released a statement saying Alabama should follow Texas and Mississippi in reopening the state due to the vaccine being administered at a higher rate and cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to the virus are decreasing.
You can read his entire statement to Gov. Ivey down below:
“I urge Gov. Kay Ivey to immediately lift the statewide mask mandate and allow citizens and
local officials the liberty to make the decisions that best fit their circumstances.
Since its implementation last July, I have held the position that a statewide mask mandate is an overstep that infringes upon the property rights of business owners and the ability of individuals to make their own health decisions.
In addition, it imposes a one-size-fits-all, big-government requirement on cities, towns, counties, and other areas that have low-to-moderate infection rates and little need for such a mandate.
Rescinding the blanket mask order and lifting capacity restrictions and other limitations will also send the loud, clear, and unmistakable message that Alabama is once again fully open for
Individuals who wish to continue wearing masks may do so, and business owners certainly have the right to require their employees and customers to wear face coverings, if they wish. Local governments may pass their own requirements, as well.
Until we reach adequate vaccination and immunity levels, I encourage everyone to continue
social distancing, practicing good hygiene and making smart decisions that affect their own
health and the health of those around them.
But we can do all of these things without a Big Brother-style government mandate looming over us.”
As of March 3, the state has seen nearly 390,000 cases of the virus and nearly 8,000 deaths. The Alabama Department of Public Health says they have administered more than 972,000 of the more than 1,408,825 doses of the vaccine to Alabamians.