HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT) – Governor Kay Ivey says the state continues to scrape back from the issues caused by the pandemic. She gave a keynote speech at a luncheon in Huntsville Wednesday addressing key issues for the state.
During her address, she championed the economy and employment while also addressing the challenges the state is facing.
“The last 18 plus months, they’ve been a doozie,” said Governor Ivey.
The governor began her address to retired state employees by acknowledging hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, quickly reminding the crowd of how the state economy is turning around, saying two weeks ago she announced the unemployment rate is 3.1 percent.
“Pretty remarkable considering the pre-pandemic unemployment rate was only 2.6 percent,” she stated.
The governor also urged Alabamians, as she publicly has before, to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“While we do not have a cure for COVID-19, we sure do have a vaccine, and I hope each one of you in this room has had the shot or is seriously considering taking the shot,” Ivey said.
That being said, she made it clear she does not support vaccine mandates.
“What I certainly will not do is support any kind of federal government that requires you to get vaccinated,” she stated.
That is not the only mandate she currently seems to not support. This week, the Alabama Department of Public Health urged universal masking in schools as many school systems continue to evaluate their mask requirements. There is no state requirement for masking in schools.
“That decision needs to be made between parents and the local school officials. We do not need a state mandate or a federal mandate to tell us what to do we just need to do the right thing.,” Ivey said.
The Governor has repeatedly urged personal responsibility instead of implementing any other state mandates to prevent the spread of the virus.
News 19 asked Governor Ivey if she believes Alabamians have been acting responsibly.
“Well, we need more of them to take the shots,” she said.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 49.7 percent of Alabamians 12 and older are fully vaccinated.