(MONTGOMERY, Ala. – April 28, 2020) – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a new “Safer at Home” order effective Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. It will expire on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
“What our citizens have done is working, and I’m thankful so many have been willing to do these things to keep us healthy, and others well and healthy too,” said Gov. Ivey. “This is not an easy process. The people of Alabama are doing the hard things to ensure we can get back to our routines as soon as possible. We are taking a step in that direction today.”
Retail stores will be allowed to reopen, at 50% occupancy. All inside the store must be able to maintain a six-foot distance.
State beaches may reopen, as long as people maintain a six-foot distance. Gov. Ivey said she has spoken with mayors of coastal towns, who have assured her they will enforce this.
Elective medical procedures may also resume.
“The threat of COVID-19 is not over,” said Gov. Ivey. “We’re still seeing the virus spread, and all of our people are susceptible. We must continue to be vigilant in our social distancing today, and for the foreseeable future. I encourage everyone to practice productive teleworking as possible, and take every precaution as you open up your workplaces.”
Restaurants, Hair Salons
Restaurants are not allowed to re-open to patrons yet. They must continue with curbside and delivery service for now. Hair salons and barbershops must remain closed, too. Gov. Ivey said her office is in communication with the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Association and the Alabama Board of Cosmetology to work proactively towards reopening.
“We know there are still more questions than answers about things like this, as well as summer camps, gyms and bowling alleys,” Gov. Ivey said. “This is a multi-phased reopening of our state. We know that what we are announcing today will please some and will make others frustrated that we’re not going further at this time. We need to maintain a good balance. Keeping our people safe and healthy, while also focusing on the economic health of the state.”
Current Health Stats, and Testing
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, as of April 28, more than 6,600 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state, with 242 deaths. Check the state dashboard for the very latest. Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer, said testing capacity is improving, but the real issue is access for people needing to be tested. “We think our labs have good capacity [to process tests] and we continue to communicate with them. It’s a barrier for people in rural areas, though, having to travel to other parts of town or their county to get tested,” he explained. “We’re working to make it to where people can get tested where they get their care.”
Gov. Ivey asked Dr. Jay Wolf, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Montgomery, to discuss religious gatherings. “The process for reopening churches for large gatherings must be very measured,” said Dr. Wolf. “COVID-19 is a highly contagious, very dangerous enemy.”
Wolf said Alabama does not meet the CDC’s criteria right now to reopen houses of worship. He encouraged churches to continue to connect with people through online services. “It is not yet safe and wise to gather in person,” he emphasized.
Funeral services are also still limited to no more than 10 people, six feet apart.
AL.com: Gov. Ivey reopening retail stores, beaches; restaurants still curbside only, hair salons closed
WHNT.com: Ivey announces new health order that allows some businesses to open
WAFF.com: Gov. Ivey initiates ‘Safer-at-Home’ order at 5 p.m. on April 30; Rolls back many restrictions
WAAYTV.com: Alabama Stay-At-Home order will expire April 30, be followed by “Safer at Home” order